Berlin admits security mistakes at G8

BERLIN, June 21 (UPI) -- The German government is for the first time acknowledging mistakes it made in its security concept for the Group of Eight summit in Heiligendamm in early June.

Opposition politicians had accused Berlin of anti-constitutional methods when a German war jet, a day before the G8 summit was due to kick off, raced over a camp with several thousand anti-globalization activists -- at a flying altitude of below 160 yards. The Panavia Tornado reconnaissance jet, usually used in Afghanistan, took a high-resolution photo of the camp and pulled away.


According to a report in Thursday's Berliner Zeitung newspaper, the German Defense Ministry has admitted that the jet flew too low, after Berlin for weeks had assured that the mission had been enacted correctly.

The ministry said the pilot wanted to fly below the clouds to avoid colliding with police helicopters in the area but undercut the minimum flying altitude of 160 yards. The ministry will probe if disciplinary measures are to be taken against the pilot, the newspaper said.

Berlin has sent six Tornados to Afghanistan, where they are aiding the International Security Assistance Force in its battle against the Taliban.


For the G8 summit, Germany came up with a massive security concept: It built a $20 million security fence and sent some 16,000 police to the area around the Baltic Sea resort of Heiligendamm, where the leaders of the world's eight richest nations met June 6-8.

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