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Head of Germany's Federal Police Sacked

The current head of Germany's Federal Office of Criminal Investigation (BKA) Ulrich Kersten has been sent into early retirement. German Interior Minister Otto Schilly said on Thursday that the 62-year-old Kersten was due for retirement in 2006 anyway and would not have fitted into the organizations' restructuring plans. However, the BKA has been beset by a leadership crisis ever since Schily announced he wanted to move the agency from its offices in Wiesbaden and Bonn to a centralized Berlin headquarters. Kersten was held responsible by the angry BKA employees for the planned move, but Schilly denied claims that he was being used as a scapegoat. The former chief of police in the state of Schleswig-Holstein Jörg Zierke is expected to take over for Kersten.