German police chief quits in scandal over far-right threats

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BERLIN (AP) — A German state’s police chief stepped down Tuesday over a scandal involving a left-wing lawmaker who received threatening emails after someone accessed her personal details on a police computer.

The interior minister of Hesse state, a central region that includes Frankfurt, said police chief Udo Muench asked to be sent into early retirement. Muench was taking responsibility for failings “that he does not have to answer for alone,” minister Peter Beuth said, news agency dpa reported.

A prominent politician with the opposition Left Party, Janine Wissler, recently received threatening mails signed “NSU 2.0.” That was an apparent reference to the National Socialist Underground, a far-right group that killed 10 people, mostly with immigrant roots, between 2000 and 2007.

It emerged that someone had requested her personal details on a Hesse police computer before the emails were sent, but it isn’t yet clear who that was. The state government has appointed a special investigator to look into the case.

In 2018, several threatening messages signed “NSU 2.0” were also sent to a Frankfurt lawyer representing victims’ families in the trial of the original NSU’s only surviving member. Beuth has said he can’t rule out the possibility of a right-wing extremist network in the regional police.

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