New Controversy Over Germany’s Outgoing Domestic Spy Chief

In this Oct. 5, 2017 photo Hans-Georg Maassen, head of the German Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, arrives for a public hearing at the parliamentary control committee of the German federal parliament, Bundestag, in Berlin. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn, file)

BERLIN (AP) — A political controversy over Germany’s outgoing domestic intelligence chief that hurt the country’s government has taken a new twist, with his move to another job apparently in danger.

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition agreed in September to remove Hans-Georg Maassen from the BfV spy agency and make him a “special adviser” to Interior Minister Horst Seehofer. The center-left Social Democrats, part of Merkel’s coalition, had demanded his removal after he appeared to downplay far-right violence against migrants.

The German news agency dpa reported that Maassen assailed in a farewell speech what he described as radical left-wing forces in the Social Democrats, and Seehofer is now considering whether to fire him or send him into retirement.

Interior Ministry spokesman Soeren Schmidt said Monday that Maassen’s comments are being reviewed and Seehofer will draw “the necessary consequences.”

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