The SPD and the FDP demand the resignation of Interior Minister Strobl. This is the disclosure of official secrets to the press. Strobl refuses to resign.
Baden-Württemberg Interior Minister Thomas Strobl (CDU) has been under pressure since the beginning of the week. The reason for this is the accusation of having transmitted official secrets to a journalist. The minister therefore refused to resign on Wednesday afternoon. At a press conference in the state legislature, Strobl said he saw no reason for it. The SPD and FDP accuse Strobl of betraying secrets in the case of the state police inspector, who allegedly sexually assaulted a colleague. After a special, non-public meeting of the interior committee, the SPD and FDP had previously demanded Strobl’s resignation.
Strobl: I did not render myself liable to prosecution
In his statement, Strobl admitted that an error had been made in the communication. It was wrong not to say that the Ministry of the Interior itself had disseminated the letter from the policeman’s lawyer to the press. Strobl strenuously denied opposition claims that he had made himself punishable by delivering the letter. In the proceedings against the official, he is concerned with “maximum clarification and maximum transparency”. He does not understand why the opposition is now accusing him of this.
According to Strobl, the opposition must decide whether to demand transparent action or castigate it. “It’s about nothing less than the integrity of the police and security authorities in Baden-Württemberg.”
The SPD and the FDP had called for a commission of inquiry if Strobl did not resign from his ministerial post. The CDU politician showed no understanding for this. The request for a commission of inquiry and a resignation is the right of opposition. But why one calls such a committee if one has not yet read the files is not clear to him, says Strobl. “It’s all on the table.”
SPD: “Strobl has lost all authority”
SPD faction leader Andreas Stoch spoke the morning after the session in the state parliament. He spoke of a “scandalous event” as the minister responsible for the constitution had apparently made himself punishable for betraying secrets. Stoch also said that this minister must resign from his post. He has lost all authority.
National SPD politician Sascha Binder spoke of a major loss of confidence. “If state personnel and disciplinary officials cannot believe that these proceedings are kept secret and kept confidential, then their confidence in the main employer, the Home Secretary, is deeply shaken.” Binder made serious allegations because Strobl stopped the proceedings at the prosecutor’s office:
FDP threatens commission of inquiry
FDP faction leader Hans-Ulrich Rülke was also very clear. “With the abysses opening up, this minister can no longer remain in office.” Strobl wanted to halt the prosecutor’s investigations into the publication of the letter and to torpedo the disciplinary proceedings against the official.
Rülke threatened a commission of inquiry. If Strobl does not resign, he will force the opposition to fully investigate his behavior with a commission of inquiry, according to the FDP politician.
Prosecutors are investigating senior police officers
The public prosecutor’s office has been investigating suspicions of sexual harassment against the Baden-Württemberg police inspector since November. For example, before Christmas 2021, there was a raid on the suspect’s apartment. The man allegedly harassed a chief inspector in a video chat with his thoughts on sexual practices.
In the case of sexual harassment allegations against the police inspector, the SPD criticized Interior Minister Strobl. She calls for a special session of a state parliament committee – because of a letter to the press.
As a letter from a lawyer for the accused police officer to the Interior Ministry became public, the prosecution also intervened in the case. She opened an investigation for breach of official secrecy. The case was dropped because the Ministry of the Interior did not authorize the prosecution. Reason: The ministry had probably forwarded the letter to a journalist.
Strobl has been under pressure since the start of the week
Earlier this week, the SPD accused Interior Minister Strobl of misleading public opinion and called for clarification. FDP interior expert Julia Goll spoke of a serious problem for the interior minister. From the AfD’s perspective, the passage of the confidential letter requires an explanation from Strobl.
The Prime Minister of Baden-Württemberg, Winfried Kretschmann (Greens), did not wish to comment on this subject. This is the business of the Interior Ministry, Kretschmann said on May 3 in Stuttgart. We have to see whether the committee will clarify the process or not. “I am only responsible for it very late,” said the Prime Minister. Kretschmann said Strobl informed him before the “Stuttgarter Zeitung” reported the matter. He took note of it.