Sexual intercourse in Baden-Württemberg: Strobel’s resignation required

DrThe Stuttgart Public Prosecutor’s Office is now also investigating Interior Minister Thomas Strobel in connection with a case involving allegations of harassment of a high-ranking police officer. The background is that a CDU politician conveyed a message from a police officer’s lawyer to a journalist. And the Public Prosecutor’s Office said, on Wednesday evening, that investigations had been opened against the journalist on suspicion of prohibited reports about court sessions and against Strobel on suspicion of incitement to this.

On Wednesday, Strobel was forced to explain the allegations at a private meeting of the state parliament’s internal committee — even before the attorney general’s office’s investigation became known. The SPD and the SPD demanded Strobel’s resignation after apparently confirming at the meeting that the message from his home had been passed on to the media.

The leader of the SPD’s parliamentary group, Andreas Stoch, described the operation as scandalous. “Under the abyss that has opened, this minister can no longer remain in office,” said the leader of the FDP’s parliamentary group, Hans-Ulrich Rolke. This was a “fundamental attack on the rule of law by the constitutional minister”. Either Strobel resigns or the FDP will request a commission of inquiry.

“Maximum enlightenment and maximum transparency”

Strobel refused the resignation request. “There was a communication error,” Strobel admitted. It was a mistake not to say that the Ministry of the Interior itself released the policeman’s lawyer’s letter to the press. However, he is interested in this process “with maximum clarity and maximum transparency”. She said it was doubtful whether any secrets were ever revealed. According to Strobel, the opposition must decide whether to demand transparent action or criticize it. “It is about nothing less than the integrity of the police and security authorities in Baden-Württemberg.”

The case began at the Ministry of the Interior at the end of last year. At the time, it was made public that a state police inspector, Andreas R., was said to have sexually harassed a police officer in a video call. The moderator has logged the hints. It is possible that the two people had previously had consensual sexual intercourse. Since November, the attorney general’s office has been investigating suspected sexual harassment against a state police inspector, who has been suspended. His lawyer is said to have lodged an objection to the leave of absence in the punctured letter to the media and dismissed the allegations.

The accused is, along with state police chief Stephanie Haines, the highest-ranking police officer in the state. The case also caused an uproar within the Baden-Württemberg police because Heinz and the accused only started a valuable campaign against sexual harassment in the police force in 2021. Under the slogan “Not With Us”, about 24,000 officials must be banned from sexual and racist behavior. In addition, Strobl is also responsible for staff selection for the State Police Director and the State Police Chief.

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