German police probe blackmail attempt

2013-09-07 20:01
Berlin - German police said they were investigating an apparent attempt to blackmail Peer Steinbrueck, the Social Democrats' (SPD) challenger to Angela Merkel in this month's federal election, over a cleaner employed by his wife 14 years ago.

Police gave no further details on Saturday, but newspaper Bild quoted Peer's wife Gertrud as saying she had been told in an anonymous letter to persuade Peer to withdraw his candidacy by September 10 or face revelations about their cleaner, whom the blackmailer alleged was employed illegally.

A spokesperson for Bonn police said they and local prosecutors were investigating the letter and the blackmail attempt.

"What I and my family have lived through in this campaign goes far beyond what is acceptable. I never would have expected blackmail would also be attempted," Peer Steinbrueck told German reporters on Saturday.

"There is only one way to deal with these things, go out in the open and turn to the police. It will play no part in my election fight," he added.

Gertrud Steinbrueck said she had used a Filipino cleaner in Bonn who had social security insurance through her husband. When he later lost his job and residency in Germany, Steinbrueck offered the cleaner a contract, which she declined. Steinbrueck told her she could not employ her illegally.

Germans who employ a cleaner are supposed to offer them a proper contract with social security.

The SPD trail Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU) by about 15% in opinion polls ahead of the September 22 election.

Read more on:    angela merkel  |  peer steinbrueck  |  germany

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.