German govt denies cover-up over Berlin Xmas market attack

February 22, 2019 - 7:33 am

BERLIN (AP) — The German government has rejected media reports claiming authorities sought to cover up the involvement of a second man in the deadly 2016 truck attack on a Berlin Christmas market by deporting him.

German weekly Focus reported Friday that Bilal Ben Ammar was arrested days after the attack and deported to Tunisia a month later, despite having frequent contacts with the attacker.

Tunisian asylum-seeker Anis Amri killed 12 people in the market attack, which was later claimed by the Islamic State group. Amri died in a shootout with police in Italy.

Germany's Interior Ministry spokeswoman, Eleonore Petermann, said deportations "are carried out according to the rule of law and certainly not in order to cover anything up."

Petermann said Interior Minister Horst Seehofer has ordered a probe into the deportation.

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