August 1, 2020 | News | No Comments
Jean-Claude Juncker must take urgent steps to explain his role in the illegal Luxembourg wiretap scandal, a former senior intelligence officer awaiting trial in connection with the scandal has told The Daily Telegraph.
Mr Juncker resigned as Luxembourg prime minister in 2013 in the wake of the scandal in which Luxembourg intelligence chiefs were accused of the unauthorised tapping of phones, bugging politicians and keeping some 13,000 secret files.
The 63-year-old European Commission president has denied any wrongdoing, but has been dragged back into the scandal after fresh evidence emerged suggesting that members of his staff had tampered with crucial evidence.
The new evidence, which led to the postponing of a trial of three senior formers members of Luxembourg’s SREL intelligence service, according to The Times, showed that a key telephone transcript had apparently been doctored.
The secretly recorded conversation between Mr Juncker and his then intelligence chief Marco Mille, made in 2007, shows the two men discussing a telephone interception that Mr Juncker denies ever authorising.
Mr Mille and two colleagues – André Kemmer and Frank Schneider – were awaiting trial for violating privacy laws last month, but the case was postponed on November 21 after Mr Juncker notified the court that he was unable to attend as a witness until a later date.
Profile | Jean-Claude Juncker
Following the emergence of the redactions in the transcript which showed Mr Juncker discussing the wiretapping of a man who had eccentrically claimed the Luxembourg royal family were linked to terror attacks, a fresh criminal investigation was ordered on December 4 into how the transcript came to be changed.
According to The Times Mr Juncker told an investigating magistrate under oath in May 2015 that “there was definitely no permission for a full phone-tapping operation”.
He also denied that the unredacted transcript, in which he discusses the tapping with Mr Mille, showed this was the case, arguing that the words used in the transcript simply created “a great deal of confusion”.
Click Here: Bape Kid 1st Camo Ape Head rompers
Frank Schneider, a former operations director of the Luxembourg Intelligence Service, who was present when Mr Mille recorded the conversation, said that Mr Juncker’s decision to delay attending the now postponed trial had denied him a moment of justice.
“Our trial is now postponed pending a criminal investigation, so we may never now get to see Juncker in court,” Mr Schneider said in an interview.
“There’s only two possibilities: either Juncker doesn’t understand the legal process, or he really doesn’t care about state of law in Luxembourg,” he added.
The Kiss of Jean-Claude Juncker, in pictures
Asked why Mr Juncker had failed to find time to attend the now-postponed trial as a witness despite being offered multiple dates, his chief spokesman Margaritis Schinas said that the proposed dates had “clashed with other commitments.”
“The president has on several occasions made it clear he is prepared to participate in this trial as a witness but he is the president of the commission so we need to find a date that suits. I am sure that date will be found without any major difficulty,” he said.
Mr Schneider said that he did not think “for one minute” that Mr Juncker ordered evidence to be tampered with, but said that the tampering of the transcript raised “serious questions” about whether Mr Juncker had, or had not, authorised the bugging.
“Mr Juncker needs to explain why he told an investigating judge that he did not authorise this wiretap, when the full transcript of his conversation with Marco Mille raises serious questions about what he knew,” Mr Schneider concluded.