Luxembourg spying scandal brings down government


From the Financial Times in England:

July 10, 2013 9:07 pm

Luxembourg’s Juncker calls snap election

By James Fontanella-Khan in Brussels

Jean-Claude Juncker, prime minister of Luxembourg and the EU’s longest-serving premier, called a snap election on Wednesday after being embroiled in a spying scandal that has shaken the Grand Duchy.

The 58-year-old leader said he would resign on Thursday after his junior coalition partners called for the dissolution of parliament.

Mr Juncker came under pressure to quit after a probe concluded that he failed to inform parliament of “irregularities and supposed illegalities” carried out by the country’s secret service between 2004 and 2009….

Opposition leaders accused Mr Juncker of spending too much time in Brussels presiding over eurogroup meetings and EU summits rather than paying close attention to how the country was being run by secret agents.

Patrick Heck, the director of SREL, said in January that under his predecessor the country’s intelligence agency illegally bugged phone conversations of senior officials, including those of Mr Juncker.

According to the parliamentary probe, the wire tapping took place between 2004 and 2009, the year the director of the agency accused of orchestrating the irregularities was dismissed.

The investigation also accused some unnamed SREL agents of allegedly using public funds for private matters and taking bribes from business people in exchange for access to local officials.

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands:

Last week it was announced that for decades the service bugged politicians and citizens. The chief of the secret service even made recordings of private conversations he had with Juncker. SREL is possibly also behind two bomb explosions in the 1980’s. Which are said to have been carried out to enforce better equipment for the police.

See also here.

From the Daily Telegraph in England:

The most prominent victim of bugging was Mr Juncker himself, when the intelligence agency’s director, Marco Mille, used a recorder disguised as wristwatch to secretly record a meeting with the prime minister in January 2007.

In the recorded conversation, Mr Mille claimed that his staff had also secretly taped a conversation with Luxembourg’s head of state and made the allegation that Grand Duke Henri was in regular contact with Britain’s MI6. This version of events is denied by Mr Juncker.

See also here.

By Dietmar Henning in Germany:

Luxembourg trial into 1980s terror bombings reveals involvement of German police, intelligence agents

12 June 2013

A trial is taking place in Luxembourg dealing with a series of terror bombings committed in the 1980s. Although the bombings implicate NATO troops and its top secret Stay Behind operation in terrorist activities, the trial has been largely ignored by the German and international media.

At the centre of the trial are two members of the Brigade mobile de la Gendarmerie (BMG), an elite police unit, accused of being responsible for 18 bombings that rocked Luxembourg between May 1984 and April 1986. Josh Wilmes and Marco Scheer are alleged to have carried out the bombings with two other now-deceased colleagues. The alleged aim of the bombings was to achieve increased funding for law enforcement.

13 thoughts on “Luxembourg spying scandal brings down government

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