Tuesday, February 21, 2006
Denies that Germany's man visited el-Masri
August Hanning, secretary of state for the Ministry of the Interior, denied that any member of Germany's secret services had visited Khaled el-Masri, a German man while he was held captive. "He has never been to Afghanistan," Mr. Hanning said of the German police official. "The German Embassy in Skopje was not informed by Macedonian authorities while German citizen el-Masri was in custody in Macedonia," a Foreign Office spokesman said.
A senior German official familiar with the case said that Mr. Masri was "at best mistaken" and that the police official "cannot be Sam."
The official's name was withheld at the request of Germany's intelligence services because he often does undercover intelligence work. He frequently gets "sensitive" assignments and helps clean up "dirty work" for the German foreign intelligence service.
The German police official identified as "Sam" denied that he had visited Mr. Masri in Afghanistan and said he was "on holiday" at the time in Germany, but that he could not remember exactly where. The man was present on Monday at the police station, where Mr. Masri picked him out of a 10-person lineup. "The man was very nervous, and he could not look at me into my eyes," Mr. Masri said. "The hair is different, but the voice sounded very similar."
See New York Times plus mojavas plus spooky plus Tiodt
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