Berlin (dpa) – A German lawmaker told dpa on Saturday that he has filed a criminal complaint over data deleted from a mobile phone used by former German defence minister and now European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.
Tobias Lindner, a parliamentarian for the Greens, said that the complaint concerns suspicions about document suppression.
A spokesman for the public prosecutor’s office said he was not immediately aware on Saturday of the receipt of a complaint.
The deletion of the mobile phone’s data emerged during a non-public session of a parliamentary committee that is looking into alleged irregularities involving the hiring of external IT advisers by the Defence Ministry when von der Leyen was in office.
The mobile phone was to be evaluated over the course of the investigation, which is dealing with accusations ranging from the incorrect awarding of contracts to nepotism in the so-called “adviser affair.”
Lindner, a member of the investigative committee, said the wiping of the phone’s data amounted to destruction of evidence.
The Defence Ministry said the phone’s data was deleted over a “security incident” and von der Leyen was given a new mobile phone.
In January, a large-scale data theft in Germany resulted in the personal data of hundreds of public figures being published on a Twitter account, including artists, presenters, Chancellor Angela Merkel, and the then minister of defence.