Xavier Bettel: insisted that Mike Gira stay during his controversial private meeting with André Kemmer
Photo: Christophe Olinger
Politics: Details have emerged in a report by RTL of the meeting between Xavier Bettel and Srel officer André Kemmer.
Luxembourg news service RTLhas reported that its sources have provided details of the testimony provided by Mike Gira, the alleged intermediary who set up a meeting between Xavier Bettel and secret service officer André Kemmer. News of the meeting in the autumn of 2012 emerged last week and has put the DP prime minister under pressure to come clean in a parliamentary debate on Tuesday afternoon.
RTL says that Gira, a police commissioner who was also the driver for then culture minister Octavie Modert, has provided testimony to the Police judiciaire in which he claims that Kemmer asked him to set up a meeting with Bettel. At the time Bettel was the mayor of Luxembourg City and a member of the Chamber of Deputies sitting on the parliamentary commission investigating misconduct by the secret service. Gira and colleagues used to meet in Urban on Monday evenings, and it was there that Kemmer approached Gira with the request to meet Bettel in private.
The pair went to Bettel’s home in Bonnevoie and met with him for some 15 to 20 minutes, according to the RTL report of Gira’s testimony. Gira was present throughout the conversation--he claims Bettel even stopped him from going for a cigarette in the garden. According to Gira, when Kemmer brought up the subject of the conversation between Srel boss Marco Mille and then prime minister Jean-Claude Juncker (which was secretly recorded by Mille), Bettel apparently told Kemmer that he should stop and should give his statement to the commission hearing.
The opposition CSV has attacked the now prime minister for failing to tell the commission about his meeting with Kemmer and for only resigning from the commission in April 2013, some four months after the meeting. The commission’s findings led to the eventual downfall of the Juncker government and the snap elections in October 2013 that gave Bettel the premiership.