Gerhard Schindler, the head of Germany’s foreign intelligence service is to leave his job initial during reports that he was forced out.
The cause for his departure is vague but he was extensively criticized after it appeared that BND had spied for US National Security Agency (NSA) .
Bruno Kahl, seen as close to Germany’s finance minister, will replace him.
“We need a new start,” said a senior MP who’s investigating the NSA affair.
Official confirmation of Mr. Schindler’s replacement came on Wednesday from Chancellor Angela Merkel’s office after it had been announced hours earlier.
The 63 years old Mr. Schindler has been running the foreign intelligence service since 2012 & was to retire in 2 years’ time. There’s been some suggestion that he suffered from health issues after the NSA controversy.
Mr. Schindler has had a difficult time in charge of BND. The agency came under fire within Germany and from its neighbors over admissions that it helped NSA spy on European politicians, organizations, and cooperation, using its monitoring station at Bad Aibling in Bavaria.
Last December, its own government for releasing a highly critical report on Saudi Arabia’s “impulsive” foreign policy publicly rebuked the agency.
Some reports suggested that Mrs. Merkel wanted the different chief in place before next year’s federal elections.
Patrick Sensburg, who is head of the Bundestag’s NSA committee, said that a change at top of the BND would provide an opportunity for the much-needed reform.
Some MPs said that they were concerned by his early departure that will take place on 1 July. Centre-left SPD spokesperson Burkhard Lischka said that Mr. Schindler had understood that the foreign intelligence agency had to open up “atleast a little,” adding he’d also backed reform of service.
Announcing the decision, the chancellor’s spokesperson, Peter Altmaier, said that the intelligence services had to faced “shifting security challenges” along with the changes expected as a result of parliamentary inquiry into its links with NSA.