According to German police and judiciary, Hamburg Justice Minister Till Steffen delayed releasing pictures of the Christmas market attacker, terrorist Anis Amri, because he was afraid it would cause “racist” comments on Facebook.
At first, Green Party politician Steffen alluded to “privacy concerns” for the why he stopped law enforcers from releasing pictures of Anis Amri.
But according to members of the judiciary and the police, Steffen – who is the head of the judicial authority in Hamburg – prevented the release of the pictures because he was worried it might incite racial hatred.
Joachim Lenders, Hamburg’s chief of police, told Bild: “It is incomprehensible to throw such a spanner in the works of investigators. Steffen is incompetent.”
André Trepoll, who is the parliamentary leader and a member of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party, called “Scandalsenator” Steffen a “security risk” for interfering with the search for the world’s most wanted man.
“Green data protection fetishism should not delay the public search for a terror suspect,” Trepoll added.
A special meeting of the Justice Committee was called by CDU judiciary spokesman Richard Seelmaeker, pointing out: “Anis Amri allegedly murdered twelve people, but instead of using all means necessary to search for him, Hamburg’s green justice senator was more concerned about the state of comments in a Facebook post – which hindered our police.”
“If the allegations against Steffen are proven true, he can no longer hold the position of senator,” Seelmaeker added.