Is Amri's friend in prison? | TIME ONLINE

Where is Bilel B.? This question has occupied for months the public and the Committee of Inquiry of the Bundestag, which deals with the assassination attempt on the Berlin Breitscheidplatz. Bilel B. was not just a friend of the assassin Anis AmriHe is also considered a potential confidant. Shortly after the attack, the German authorities pushed him in a hurry to Tunisia, since then he was considered disappeared. Previously unpublished information from the Tunisian judiciary and the German Federal Intelligence Service (BND) now suggest that B. was interrogated, charged and convicted in his homeland and may be imprisoned there.

One thing is certain: On February 1, 2017, just six weeks after Amri's attack on the Christmas market, Bilel B. was sitting on a Lufthansa flight from Frankfurt Tunis, After his arrival, federal police handed him over to the local authorities. But since then it is puzzled where the Tunisian, who knows much about Anis Amri, stops. Federal Interior Minister Horst Seehofer (CSU) always stated that he did not know B.'s whereabouts. Even after his deportation, it is clear from notes of the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA), German investigators considered it possible that B. knew in advance of Amris attack plan. The magazine Focus Had even learned that B. had been an informer of the Moroccan intelligence service – an assertion for which there is no evidence and energetically contradict the German security agencies.

In view of the unanswered questions, the opposition parties to the Committee of Inquiry criticized B. for being deported too soon and too quickly, although perhaps he could have contributed to clarifying the case. Representatives of the Left, Greens and FDP in the committee demand that the deputies can question B.

Interrogated by the court in Tunis

Now there are several hitherto unknown references to the whereabouts of B. ZEIT ONLINE are the German translations of two interrogation protocols, which has been produced by the Tunisian Ministry of Justice. According to them, Bilel B. was questioned on 15 June 2017 and on 11 September 2017 by a local court in Tunis as a terrorist suspect. He denied any terrorist activity. B., however, admitted to know Amri and him cocaine it has been bought in a refugee housing, he said in one of the notes.

Also at his meeting with Amri on 18 December 2016, one day before the attack, it was about a drug deal. Amri B. followed in the restaurant and "handed him a lot of cocaine and hashish," it says in the interrogation protocol. "Anis left the place while the interrogated returned to the refugee shelter."

In fact, the two men had met in the evening before the act in a snack in Berlin-Wedding, which was the German investigators as a possible indication of a sense of B.s. In the interrogations, B. denied that he did not want to know about the attack until the day after the attack by a friend via social media.

All interrogations leave questions unanswered

However, the surveys of Bilel B. in Tunis leave open various questions – similar to two interrogations B.s by the BKA only days after the attack on Breitscheidplatz. "Anyone who reads the minutes of Bilel Ben Ammar's two German interrogations does not get the impression that the investigators have prepared them well and had an increased interest in obtaining information about his involvement in planning and executing the attack on Breitscheidplatz." , criticizes Green Party leader Irene Mihalic, herself a former policewoman. For example, questions about B.'s alibi and his stay between 18 and 29 December 2016 were missing.

What became of B. following the Tunisian interrogations is unclear. According to information from ZEIT ONLINE has the BND Last year, she tried to find out more about B.'s fate. The information provided by the BND is contradictory. Either B. was released after the interviews under conditions – or he is already since July 2017 in custody. The latest reference to the BND is from March 2018. As a result, Ben Ammar was sentenced to eight years' imprisonment – and must remain in prison until July 2025.

It is unclear why the German authorities only had the BND search for B., but not the BKA, which is conducting the Amri investigation and already had contact with the Tunisians. It is also unclear what has happened in the past twelve months. Seehofer had promised enlightenment, but "now we have to say that the federal government apparently simply has no interest in determining the residence," criticizes the leader of the left, Martina Renner. If the federal government shifts responsibility to allegedly uncooperative Tunisian authorities, it steals its responsibility.

However, if Bilel B. is indeed in Tunisian detention, a questioning by the German investigation committee would be possible in principle – the federal government would only have to succeed in getting the Tunisian government to agree.


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