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Verdict: Ban on service for German Special Forces Command (KSK) elite soldiers is illegal


KOBLENZ / BERLIN. The Troop Service Court South in Koblenz has lifted the ban imposed on a soldier from the Special Forces Command (KSK) from performing the service and wearing the uniform. The measures ordered by the commander of the elite unit in December 2019 are illegal, the judges said in their decision.

The professional soldier with the rank of sergeant major was reported to his superiors in November 2019 by the Federal Office for the Military Counter-Intelligence Service (BAMAD) as a so-called suspect in the Bundeswehr, as there were "available findings relating to extremism" against him. This was justified, among other things, with profile pictures in messenger services like WhatsApp. There the person concerned used a burning sun gear and the words "Zero Tolerance". In addition, according to anonymous respondents, he posted "bizarre" content on Facebook and shared contributions from the AfD, for example. He was also accused of being a so-called Reich citizen.

In interviews with the Military Counterintelligence Service, the soldier had always emphasized that he was a fan of Norway and had therefore dealt with Nordic mythology. His tattoos also stemmed from this interest. The intelligence service, however, did not consider this credible and saw the expression "a deeply rooted inner right-wing extremist attitude" in the motifs used.

Tattoos do not display anti-constitutional symbols
In December 2019, police officers searched the service room as well as personal belongings, the car and the private cellphone of the sergeant major. The searches were unsuccessful. After a written hearing, the commander of the special forces command, Brigadier General Markus Kreitmayr, ordered the commando soldiers, who had previously been security-checked several times, to be banned from working and wearing uniforms. This was justified by the fact that there were “reasonable doubts about his attitude to the constitutional order”, especially because of a tattooed Odal rune. Against the background of relevant press reports, there is a "risk of massive damage to the public image of the Bundeswehr".

With its decision the Koblenz troop service court approved the complaint of the Portepee NCO. According to the judges, there were already insufficient circumstances at the time of the measures imposed on the soldier to have reasonable doubts about his attitude to the constitutional order. His tattoos also did not contain any marks of unconstitutional organizations, in the "surrounding context of the runes" there was "no specifically National Socialist context", it says in the explanation. The motifs of the Nordic-Germanic mythology contained symbols that would not find use in right-wing extremist circles.

With the decision of the Koblenz troop service court, the Bundeswehr has received another legal defeat against a member of the command.

Meanwhile, Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer (CDU) has initiated preliminary disciplinary investigations against KSK commander Kreitmayr on suspicion of breach of official duties. The background is the so-called ammunition amnesty. "Like every soldier, Brigadier General Kreitmayr deserves a fair and transparent procedure that also takes into account his motives and backgrounds," said the minister. It is clear to them that “the culture of systematic disregard for rules when dealing with ammunition before General Kreitmayr takes over command also raises questions to the command level of the KSK” and to the responsible supervisory authority. During the preliminary disciplinary investigations, Kreitmayr remains in his commanding post.

Source: Junge Freiheit

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