Updated at 14:03,08-08-2022

Germany's top police official dismissed for contacts with Belarusian police

Nasha Niva

Matthias Seeger was accused of teaching Belarusian colleagues to drive away protest rallies.

German federal police chief Matthias Seeger's contacts with authorities in Belarus may have been one of the reasons for his dismissal, German mass media report.

Mr. Seeger had served in the position since March 2008 and was dismissed by Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich this past Friday, BelaPAN says.

Mr. Seeger is reported to visit Belarus in 2009. German police officers stayed in Belarus later that year to share experience of maintaining the public peace during demonstrations and other 'mass events', and a group of Belarusian officers visited Germany to study the German police’s crowd control practices.

In December 2011, Gregor Gysi, the leader of the Die Linke (The Left) group in the Bundestag, made an inquiry with the federal government, asking whether the German police had really taught Belarus’ riot police to violently suppress pro-democracy protests.

The GdP police union stood by him then, saying he was the victim of a smear campaign, The Local.de informs.

GdP spokesman Josef Scheuring said of Seeger in June, "Unfortunately, and not for the first time, he has to endure a few representatives of the police leadership trying to damage him personally by spreading false rumours".

However, even this support did not manage to prevent Mr. Seegers’ resignation.