Four police officers and two drugs-sniffer dogs, accompanied by a state prosecutor, yesterday searched the Berlin apartment of a leading Social Democrat politician suspected of buying hard drugs.
This is the second police investigation of a leading Social Democrat spokesman this year. The party is in coalition with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats.
Reports in the German newspaper Bild said police were looking for “the horror drug crystal meth,” after Michael Hartmann, spokesman for the centre-left on home affairs and a member of the panel controlling intelligence services, was caught on camera allegedly buying drugs.
The search of his apartment came after the Bundestag lifted immunity for the 51-year old politician, who has been a member of parliament since 2002.
Hartman became the SPD’s spokesman on internal affairs, which includes policing, in 2011. He also joined the parliament’s key 20-member PKGr, the control panel that oversees Germany’s intelligence services and their 11,500 employees, according to German news site dw.de.
Hartmann, who has made no comment to the press, yesterday resigned as SPD spokesman but remains a member of parliament. He is expected to resign from the intelligence service control panel.
Crystal meth is the street name for methamphetamine, an addictive stimulant.
The Berlin drugs probe against Hartmann is the second police investigation launched in recent months against a former SPD spokesman on internal affairs. According to German press reports, in February, the SPD’s Sebastian Edathy quit parliament citing poor health when it emerged that prosecutors were investigating child pornography accusations. He denied the allegations.