Substantive statements made by the head of the Cologne Police about the sexual assaults on New Year's Eve are apparently untrue, police officers who were deployed to the scene have told the "Welt am Sonntag".
The Cologne police told the "Welt am Sonntag" they had stopped many people and arrested some of them. Therefore the police know which groups of people were involved. "In contrast to what has been said publicly, the details of many people were taken," people who were part of the mob at the railway station.
Around 100 of these people were stopped; many of them were taken to the police station and held in custody. Until now the head of the Cologne police has not reported that the police arrested perpetrators or took them into custody. The Cologne police officers reported that what emerged from questioning these people was: "Only a small minority were North Africans, the majority were Syrians."
... "Most were recently arrived asylum seekers. They presented documents that are issued by the authorities during an asylum application."
The officers contradict the official representation on another point in regard to the events of New Year's Eve. It has been said that the perpetrators were primarily interested in stealing from passers-by. The sexual harassment was only incidental, it was said. "In reality, it was exactly the other way around," said the Cologne police officers to the "Welt am Sonntag". "For the mostly Arab perpetrators it was about the sexual assaults or, from their point of view, their sexual amusement. A group of men surround a female victim, cut her off and attack the woman."
It is not only the statements of the police officers that contradict police chief Albers – the account in a six-page paper "Deployment after-report") of the Cologne Police management office dated 2 January does so too. The "Welt am Sonntag" has access to it. Its account clearly contradicts Albers' statements.
What emerges from the paper is that the majority of the perpetrators were asylum seekers: "When personal details were taken, the majority of people could only identify themselves through the asylum-seeker registration document from the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees. They generally had no identification papers."
... Arnold Plickert, chairman of the Gewerkschaft der Polizei (GdP) [Police trade union] in North Rhine Westphalia, defended the Cologne police in the "Welt am Sonntag": "Many of my colleagues in Cologne feel unjustly attacked and hung out to dry by the accusations of Interior Minister de Maizière. It is simply false to say that on the night the police did not arrest anyone or take anyone into custody."
Plickert also defended the Cologne police for speaking out about the truth of the events on New Year's Eve: "I can well understand that colleagues are now passing information anonymously to the public. They want to clear up the false reports that have been put about and defend themselves. Many officers have already told me they feel as if they were being made out to be the perpetrators."
The GdP regional head went on: "The claim that nothing points to asylum-seekers as the perpetrators, I also consider to be a false statement. According to colleagues, many of the men who were stopped presented certificates from the Federal Office for Migration. There is no doubt that the perpetrators included refugees."Source