25 February 2006
This was originally posted on the Cryptome main page about Gerhard Lehmann.
More information on Lehmann invited. Send to jya[at]cryptome.net.
Mr. Masri told the police that he was "90 percent" certain that a senior German police official was the interrogator who had visited him three times inside the prison in Kabul but had identified himself only as "Sam." The German prosecutors said Monday that they were also investigating whether the German Embassy in Skopje, Macedonia, had been notified about Mr. Masri's kidnapping within days of his capture there, but then had done nothing to try to help him.
Mr. Masri's case has come to symbolize the C.I.A. practice known as extraordinary rendition, in which terror suspects are sent to be interrogated in other countries where torture is commonly used. In broadening its criminal inquiry into the abduction of Mr. Masri to the activities of its own government, German prosecutors are trying to determine whether the German government worked secretly with the United States in the practice.
"I feel deceived and betrayed by my own country," Mr. Masri, a 42-year-old unemployed car salesman from Neu-Ulm, said in an interview.
The German police official identified as "Sam" denied that he had visited Mr. Masri in Afghanistan and said he was "on holiday" at the time in Germany, but that he could not remember exactly where. The man was present on Monday at the police station, where Mr. Masri picked him out of a 10-person lineup. After speaking with him, Mr. Masri said that his voice was similar but that his hair style was different.
Martin Hofmann, a prosecutor in Munich, said Monday that his office would not "assume that this man is Sam" but would "go forward with our investigation."
A senior German official familiar with the case said that Mr. Masri was "at best mistaken" and that the police official "cannot be Sam."
The New York Times is withholding the official's name at the request of Germany's intelligence services because he often does undercover intelligence work. He frequently gets "sensitive" assignments and helps clean up "dirty work" for the German foreign intelligence service, said one of his longtime colleagues, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
-- Don Van Atta, Germany Weighs if It Played Role in Seizure by U.S., February 21, 2006
Cryptome: NY Times mentions today a German police official who is suspected of interrogating the kidnapped German citizen in Afghanistan. "The New York Times is withholding the official's name at the request of Germany's intelligence services because he often does undercover intelligence work. He frequently gets "sensitive" assignments and helps clean up "dirty work" for the German foreign intelligence service, said one of his longtime colleagues, who spoke on condition of anonymity."
Cryptome requests the cop's name or a pointer to it. Send to jya[at]cryptome.net.
A. writes 23 February 2006:
It seems (but it's not certain) at this moment, that the cop goes by the name (Gerhard) Lehmann. According to a German article, Khaled el-Masri, who was to identify the man introduced to him as "Sam" recognized a man introduced to him as Mr. Lehmann from the BKA (Bundeskriminalamt, a bit like the FBI). Mr. Lehmann denied the charges, of course, and claimed he was on vacation during the time Mr. el-Masri had been abducted. Interestingly, he cannot recall where he was during his vacation. Mr. Lehman also played a role during the investigation of the murder of Rafik Hariri in 2005. A German article on him can be found here:
Mehlis, Lehmann, BKA, BND and the CIA
Gerhard Lehmann Source
More on Lehmann:
I was wondering, if the Lehmann pic [above] is authentic? For example, who says the person's appearance was not changed and no Photoshop tricks were done to the pic? When and where was it shot? Any chance for giving more info on the website?
Cryptome: Good questions. The photo came from the Saar Echo newspaper article linked for the photo. If you learn more about the authenticity of the photo, please let us know. We could find no other photos of this Gerhard Lehmann via Google image search. Unless he looked differently, which is what el-Masri suggested about the Afghanistan interrogator.
A2 writes further:
Sources indicate that on 21 October 2005 - the same day Mehlis officially gave the "Mehlis report" to Kofi Annan - Lehmann handed over another copy to the Lebanon government in a press appereance. This link provides a October 2005 photo:
Gerhard Lehmann at left, Lebanese official at right