Minister Faces Questions on Magazine Raid | Germany| News and in-depth reporting from Berlin and beyond | DW | 06.10.2005
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Minister Faces Questions on Magazine Raid

Germany's interior minister has been asked to explain why police searched a journalist's home and his magazine's office in raids. The incident has sparked a debate over press freedom.


Has Interior Minister Schily taken law and order too far?

German Interior Minister Otto Schily will appear before parliament's home affairs committee, his office said, in a hearing expected to take place next week.

The opposition liberal Free Democrats demanded the hearing. Their parliamentary business manager Jürgen Koppelin described the police raids last month as "politically questionable and constitutionally dubious."

Police searched the offices of the monthly political magazine Cicero and the home of journalist Bruno Schirra in an investigation launched by the federal police agency regarding the leak of a confidential document on al Qaeda's leader in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

Titel Cicero

Cicero said in its latest edition that they copied the editor's hard drive and removed 15 boxes of documents from the home of Schirra, an investigative journalist who specializes in the Middle East and was attending a security conference in Israel at the time.

Schirra, 47, had used the leaked police document as one of his sources for a story on Zarqawi in April.


Cicero quoted him as saying he was outraged at the raids and would resist pressure to divulge his sources.

"I never, under any circumstances, talk about sources, neither with editors, nor with prosecutors, nor with judges," Schirra told Reuters.

"With a very flimsy pretext, the state broke into my house and emtied it," he added. "I call that gagging press freedom."

Police and prosecutors declined further comment on the case.

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