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Despite European Union sanctions against the repressive regime of Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, German federal police were training his “experts” as late as last year. The training took place in Belarus just weeks after a crackdown on opposition protesters.

Accusations that German federal police had questionable ties to the despotic regime of Belarusian dictator Alexander Lukashenko were summarily dismissed by the head of the force last week. Now, new information has revealed that the rumors were actually true.

The suggestion was “complete nonsense,” said Matthias Seeger, the chief of the federal police, who has since been relieved of his duties for reasons that are unclear. According to Seeger, the federal police merely had contacts with the Belarusian border patrol, and only until two years ago.

But in a response to an inquiry into police operations abroad by the far-left Left Party, which has been seen by SPIEGEL, the German government has revealed that Seeger’s statements were false. As late as last year, the German federal police had not completely ended its training activities for the Lukashenko regime. It was still providing, at the very least, “instruction to Belarusian experts in the area of risk analysis,” according to the German government.

The timing of the training, which was conducted from Feb. 21 to Feb. 25, 2011, is particularly noteworthy. It took place just days after the beginning of show trials in Minsk against opposition members who had protested against questionable presidential election results that further consolidated Lukashenko’s power in December 2010.

Find this story at 8 June 2012

By Christian Neef

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