German prosecutors look into 'rug scandal'
Prosecutors will look into allegations the German development minister broke the law when he didn't declare an Afghan rug to customs before it was flown home on a government plane.
German prosecutors said on Sunday that they were looking into whether Germany's development minister was in breech of the law when he failed to declare a rug he bought in Afghanistan to customs and later got the head of the German intelligence agency to bring it back for him.
The Berlin prosecutor's office said on Sunday that it was looking into "initial suspicions of possible punishable behavior."
Dirk Niebel, of Chancellor Angela Merkel's junior coalition partners, the Free Democrats (FDP), responded to criticism for not paying import duties estimated to be around 200 euros for the carpet by saying the item, intended for his dining room, was too heavy to be flown back. Therefore, he requested the embassy to put it on the next government plane. It was in the end bought back with the head of German intelligence, Gerhard Schindler. (...)