German war crime in Afghanistan whitewash

This video says about itself:

Germany in the dock over Kunduz airstrike

20 March 2013

Relatives of Afghans killed by an airstrike ordered by a German NATO officer in northern Afghanistan have taken Germany’s government to court.

The country has already paid more than 400,000 dollars – or 330,000 euros – in what it calls aid. The families from Kunduz want ten times that amount.

At the courthouse in Bonn, federal government lawyer Mark Zimmer said: “Of course I can understand these people because they suffered a terrible fate. At the same time, it is our task to fend off this claim because Bonn District Court is not the right place for it. There are rights based on international law and there are payments which have already been made, also by the German government.”

Karim Popal, a lawyer for the plaintiffs countered: “The goodwill aid payments of 5,000 dollars were handed out in a men’s assembly, so a lot of orphans and widows received nothing. A lot of strangers lined their pockets. Some of our clients received this aid, others did not.”

Scores of people were killed or maimed in September 2009 when two stolen fuel tankers were hit in the airstrike.

The planes were American, but the order came from a German commander.

Germany’s lower house of parliament said it was ‘one of the most serious incidents involving the German army since World War Two.’

By Markus Salzmann in Germany:

German army abandons investigation of officer who ordered Kunduz massacre

25 August 2010

No one is to be held accountable for the single biggest massacre carried out by German soldiers since the Second World War.

Following the lead of the federal prosecutor, the army has also abandoned its investigation into Colonel Georg Klein, who almost a year ago ordered an air attack near the northern Afghan city of Kunduz that claimed up to 142 mostly civilian victims. Preliminary investigations had produced no evidence of a breach of discipline, the Defence Ministry in Berlin said last week. Consequently, there would be no disciplinary proceedings against Klein.

In April, the federal prosecutor had concluded that the dropping of two 500-pound bombs onto two immobilised tankers that were clearly surrounded by numerous people, did not constitute a violation of “international humanitarian law”. Klein had not infringed international law nor had he breached Germany’s criminal code, the federal prosecutors claimed in order to justify their decision.

The abandonment of all investigative and disciplinary proceedings against Klein equates to a “first class acquittal” according to Spiegel Online. The website accuses the military investigators of acting out of a “misunderstanding of the esprit de corps”. The colonel will not even receive a warning, although a NATO investigative report shows he clearly violated the existing rules of engagement.

At the same time the proceedings against Klein were abandoned, the parliamentary committee of inquiry supposed to investigate the background of the massacre in Kunduz has been transformed into a farce.

On formal grounds, the Federal Court of Justice dismissed a request by opposition representatives to invite Defence Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg (Christian Social Union, CSU) and former Bundeswehr (Armed Forces) General Inspector Wolfgang Schneiderhan and ex-Defence Secretary Peter Wichert before the committee to clarify contradictions in their previous statements.

One Year After the Kunduz Air Strike: No Sign of a Full Investigation: here.

Kunduz Bombing Victim: ‘The Germans Lied to All of Us’: here.

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