07:16 GMT +320 November 2019
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    German Commanders Deliberately Covered Up Dangerous Views of Officer for 3 Years

    © AFP 2019 / DPA / PETER ENDIG
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    German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen has said that the army officer who is suspected of plotting a crime to discredit refugees out of his far-right views, was covered up by his commanders of their "wrong understanding of corporate spirit."

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Commanders of the German officer that was detained over suspicion of planning a serious crime knew of his far-right views, but did not report them because of the wrong sense of the corporate spirit, von der Leyen said.

    On Wednesday, a 28-year-old first lieutenant of the German army Franco A. was detained in the Bavarian town of Hammelburg over suspicion of preparing a crime allegedly aimed at discrediting refugees. According to media reports, the Bundeswehr had serious proof of the far-right views of the detainee as far back as three years ago.

    "The Bundeswehr has an attitude problem and a problem of the clear weakness of the leadership at different levels, and we must consistently deal with it," von der Leyen said, adding that the commanders ignored the signals of the officer’s dangerous views because of their "wrong understanding of corporate spirit."

    The minister reminded of a number of other scandals in the Bundeswehr, such as cases of sexual abuse and harassment at the Pfullendorf military base, that were known of but remained unreported for a long time.

    According to the prosecution, the detainee applied for asylum as a Syrian refugee in the German town of Giessen in late 2015, and was subsequently granted asylum, shelter and benefits in January 2016. According to the media, during the registration it was not noticed that the "Syrian refugee" was of German descent and did not speak Arabic but only French. He allegedly planned to commit serious crimes to discredit refugees, given that his fingerprints were in the refugee database.

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    German Armed Forces, Ursula von der Leyen, Germany
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