According to the Pakistani Foreign Minister, three Germans acted as middlemen in the illicit transfer of nuclear secrets during the 1980s and 1990s.
Explosive: "Lots of Europeans" helped to pass on nuclear secrets, Pakistan's Kasuri says
Days after the "father of the Pakistani atomic bomb," Abdul Qadeer Khan, publicly confessed to handing over nuclear secrets to Iran, Libya and North Korea, Pakistani Foreign Minister Khursheed Mehmood Kasuri confirmed that Germans were involved in the illicit activities.
"We have the German's names, and we have as much evidence against them as we have against Khan," Kasuri told the Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper.
Three Germans had been implicated in "activities in the 1980s and 90s" Kasuri said. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) would have to communicate any information about them to Germany, he added. "That's not our thing."
At a security conference in Munich on Sunday, Kasuri said "lots of Europeans" had been involved. The IAEA and Iran had given Pakistan their names, he told the audience.
The founder of Pakistan's nuclear program, Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan, is seen in this March 19, 1998 photo. Khan has admitted he transferred nuclear technology to Iran, Libya and North Korea.
Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf pardoned A. Q. Khan after he admitted on Wednesday to passing on nuclear information to Iran, Libya and North Korea. Following two months of investigations, Musharraf effectively ruled out pursuing the issue any further. Khan, who was the chief developer of Pakistan's atomic bomb, claimed full responsibility, but observers allege that Khan could not have acted without the military's knowledge.
At least four Germans, including two former employees of the company Leybold-Heraeus, are suspected of taking part in illicit deals with Khan, the Spiegel newsmagazine has reported. The United Nations and the German Customs Crime Agency are investigating the German links.
This is not the first time that German ties to the Pakistani nuclear program have raised suspicions. In 1988, a German parliamentary committee examined the issue.