German MP Andrej Hunko, who has taken great interest in Mark Kennedy’s deployment in Germany, has written to the Home Secretary insisting that the forthcoming inquiry into undercover police includes UK officers’ actions abroad.
It comes after May’s announcement last week which, whilst scant on detail, did specify that it will cover “operations conducted by English and Welsh police forces in England and Wales”.
It’s known that officers from the political police units have been going abroad for about twenty years. Conversely, their foreign counterparts work over here.
Thanks to Hunko’s tenacious research, it has been established that Berlin police sent five undercover officers to the anti-G8 protests in Scotland in 2005. It’s not clear how many came from elsewhere in Germany or other countries. These were in addition to the UK officers there, which included Mark Kennedy and Lynn Watson.
A report by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) confirmed that Kennedy worked in 14 countries. This isn’t quite the 22 he claims, but whichever is true, it is hugely significant.
Kennedy had sexual relationships whilst undercover in Germany, which is strictly forbidden in that country. Hunko’s letter continues,
German parliamentarian Hans-Christian Stroebele said in the press that Kennedy is known to have played a part in at least three minor crimes in Germany, something that a German undercover agent is not permitted to do.
German MP Ulla Jelpke further proclaimed, ‘the suspicion that Kennedy was acting as an agent provocateur in these crimes still cannot be ruled out’
The extensive information Hunko has prised from the German authorities (32 page PDF) includes the fact that Kennedy was paid by German police whilst working there.
Hunko has previously revealed that
Foreign police officers must obtain authorisation before entering the territory of a sovereign state. They must not commit any criminal offences during their stay. Kennedy, however, sought to impress activists in Berlin by setting fire to a refuse container. Arrested by the police, he even concealed his true identity from the public prosecutor. This is illegal, as the Federal Government has indicated now.
Kennedy was a serving Met officer, hired out to use the identity and methods the Met trained him in. The idea that this bears no relevance to the subject of the inquiry is absurd.
Theresa May’s announcement clearly said
The inquiry’s investigation will include, but not be limited to, the undercover operations of the Special Demonstration Squad and the National Public Order Intelligence Unit
If it is to do that, it must look at how the whole thing worked, it cannot be geographically selective. If this embarrasses the British establishment in the eyes of other countries, so be it. It may uncover more layers to the structure; this, too, is surely one of the points of having the inquiry in the first place.
Hunko’s questions exposed the hitherto unknown European Co-ordination Group on Undercover Activities that organises and focuses undercover work. Established in the 1980s, it is comprised of all EU member states and other countries such as the USA, Israel, South Africa and New Zealand, plus selected private companies. It meets irregularly and says it doesn’t keep minutes. According to the German government, the UK and Germany are the trailblazers in the group.
Far from the undercover scandal being centred on a rogue officer or a rogue unit, the UK’s tactics increasingly appear to be part of a concerted effort in which governments and corporations act together across borders.
It is notable that the aforementioned 2005 G8 summit is beyond the proposed scope of the remit, as it took place in Scotland. Yet Kennedy worked for the National Public Order Intelligence Unit (NPOIU) which a 2003 HMIC report confirmed
performs an intelligence function in relation to politically motivated disorder (not legitimate protests) on behalf of England, Wales and Scotland
If the inquiry excludes Scotland, it excludes part of the NPOIU’s remit.
After his police contract ended, Kennedy stayed in the same community of activists, under the same Met-created identity, using the same methods to spy on them, working for a company set up and run by Rod Leeming, another ex-political police Met officer.
As we’ve previously described, this was not an isolated instance, the entwining of political police and their private counterparts has been going on for decades, and it would be ludicrous to exclude this overlap from the inquiry.
We can presume the German police paid the NPOIU for the use of their officer Mark Kennedy. There can be no claiming that the Met were not responsible, nor that counter-democratic activity and personal abuse by Met officers are somehow insignificant if done elsewhere or with a different institution signing the paycheque.
The dogged persistence of Hunko (assisted by the German government’s more open approach to MPs asking about the subject) means there is a formidable body of evidence about an NPOIU officer’s undercover activity, including the commission of crimes and sexual abuse. This must not be excluded from the inquiry.
Furthermore, if that is what we have about one officer, in one of his 14 countries, what else is there to uncover? For the inquiry to be credible, it must investigate all significant elements of the work of the political policing units.