Heckler & Koch (HK) has admitted to using Germany’s counter-intelligence service, MAD to spy into negative press coverage on G36 assault rifles amid possible takeover in 2013, German media reported.
According to the reports, the German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen had asked to investigate the links between officials from the Defense Ministry and HK.
“The ministry has found the former head of division for armaments at MAD had tried to get the intelligence service to cover up negative reports about the G36 rifles. The intervention by the personnel was unacceptable,” Von der Leyenwas quoted as saying by Allgemeine Zeitung.
The Minister had declared in April of the Defense Committee, the G36 has “no future in the Bundeswehr” based on the findings of precision experts.
"Possible additional personnel and structural consequences are still being examined. There will be certain personnel changes," Defense Ministry spokesman, Jens Flosdorff was quoted as saying by the news daily.
The official had written a letter to MAD asking it to find the source of leaks to journalists about the G36 assault rifles. However MAD had turned down the request. HK claims that beginning with 2012, various media reports were published on the behest of maligning the rifle maker. HK reportedly wished to know who was responsible for the negative press coverage.
More the press coverage, HK feared a possible takeover of the company by a group of intelligence officers and foreign investors. HK continues to view the negative press coverage is a result of an orchestrated campaign to malign the company.