The German police confirmed the opening of an investigation “on suspicion of betrayal of secrets” the day after the publication of a news newspaper about preparations for Zelensky’s visit to Berlin, where he will be given an official reception the next day by Chancellor Olaf Scholz and later by President Frank-Walter-Steinmeier.
German police announced on Thursday the opening of an investigation into the leakage of news to the media by one of its officers about a visit by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to Berlin this week. The police confirmed the opening of an investigation “on suspicion of betrayal of secrets” the day after the publication of a newspaper about preparations for Zelensky’s visit.
On Wednesday, the BZ daily newspaper quoted a police source as saying that Zelensky would arrive in Berlin on May 13, and the next day he would be given an official reception by Chancellor Olaf Scholz, and later by President Frank-Walter-Steinmeier.
The newspaper also said that the Ukrainian president would then travel by helicopter to the city of Aachen in western Germany, to receive the Charlemagne Prize, which is awarded annually to personalities and institutions that have contributed to the idea of European unity.
The newspaper quoted a source in the police as confirming that the latter has “multiple experiences in dealing with this type of state visit, but we must not fall captive to routine,” adding, “We are preparing (for Zelinsky’s visit) with diligence and focus.”
Police chief Barbara Slovik directed harsh criticism at the unnamed source, and the police statement Thursday quoted her as saying that “for one individual to defame the Berlin police in such a shameful way, at the national and international levels (…) it is intolerable.”
Barbara added, “I can only assume that he (the source) was not aware of the extent of (bad) what he had done,” stressing: “Preferring the headlines of a newspaper over the credibility of the Berlin police and the trust placed in us is in no way acceptable.” .
The leaking of the news of the visit was an embarrassment to Berlin, which had not been officially announced, and angered Kiev, according to the German “T Online” website. And the site quoted Ukrainian government sources as expressing “deep disappointment in Kiev, because highly sensitive information related to (President Zelensky’s) security is being leaked by German sources.” The Ukrainian president made two unannounced visits to Europe this week, visiting Finland on Wednesday and arriving in the Netherlands on Thursday morning.