The well-known journalist Hans-Wilhelm Saure has been investigating for years what really happened to Alois Brunner, a Nazi criminal who was responsible for the deportation of 128,500 Jews. He is suspected to be linked to the intelligence services, as he often appears next to the name of Reinhard Gehlen, founding president of the Federal Intelligence Service (BND).
The Office for the Protection of the Constitution of Cologne denied Saure the confidential files relevant to this case, because the pertinent 30 years had not passed since the closing of the file. Following an appeal by the Cologne Office due to the North Rhine-Westphalia Higher Administrative Court giving Saure the green light to access them, the journalist has achieved partial success in the second instance. The court suggested that the Constitutional Protection Office disclose the archives without recognizing any legal obligation, but this was refused as they had to clarify a "legal problem" with the Federal Archives Act first. Christoph Partsch, Saures' lawyer, fears that the Federal Office for Constitutional Protection will use the opportunity of the review to extend the disclosure for another five years, which he described as a scandal.