Article by Ottmar Kauck published 10.11.1996
This article is based upon the information that was available at the time of going to press.
On the 20th of May 1998, in Colombia, Herr and Frau Mauss were acquitted of all charges against them.
After an 18-month investigation by the Fiscal General de la Nación and the Procurador General – public prosecutor for, amongst other things, state and authority criminality, it was ruled that the couple had, at no time during their operations or stays in the country since 1984, violated any Colombian national laws.
It was further ruled that the imprisonment and nine-month pre-trial detention that began in November of 1996 had been illegal. It was established that this had been based upon the intrigues of the company Control Risks with the cooperation of the Columbian police authority – Gaula Medellin – which had manipulated prisoners, forcing them into making false statements against the couple. This falsified evidence was later rectified and declared illegal. Extract from acquittal judgement. [Link]
Between 1995 and their arrest in 1996, the couple were involved in a peace mission which was carried out in consultation with the German Chancellor’s Office.
The Federal Government confirmed this in a governmental declaration at the beginning of 1997 which was presented, along with a verbal note (Nota No.:022/97) via the German ambassador in Bogotá, to the Colombian government, the Fiscal General de la Nación and the General State Prosecutor of Antioquia, on the 23rd of January 1997.
See also letter, dated May 22 2001, to a Western government, written by the then Minister of State in the Chancellor’s Office and coordinator of the German intelligence services, Herr Bernd Schmidbauer, MdB [Link]
as well as:
the letter of appreciation, dated November 22 2005, sent to Werner Mauss by former Colombian President Ernesto Samper, who was in office at the time in question. [Link]
He sits in prison and says nothing – top agent Werner Mauss (56). Who is the mysterious woman in the next cell?
Pilot’s glasses, blue T-shirt, jeans, noticeably well conditioned arms, said to be 36 years old. She arrived with Mauss 5 days ago, claiming: “We are interested in Precolombian art.”
She was in possession of three passports when arrested. They are in the names of Silvia Seidel, Munich and Isabel Schroeder. Her luggage also contained a Colombian gun licence for a .38 Smith & Wesson issued by the Colombian military 4 years ago.
In accent-free Spanish she says calmly: “Talk to my lawyer.” Mauss’s lawyer Egbert Wenzel: “I can assure you that Herr Mauss was not travelling with adulterous intentions.” Mauss’s second wife is an Italian.
During earlier missions he always travelled in the company of a woman – it made him less conspicuous. As early as 1986 a kidnapped manager from the Mannesmann Company was released by guerrillas for a 2-million-Deutschmark ransom. Werner Mauss was in the country at the time.
This time he paid 2 million to the guerrillas for the release of Brigitte Schoene, wife of a former BASF manager. In Bogotá she talked of her three-months as a hostage: “I was in an Andean village. I was surrounded by heavily armed children the whole time.”
She tried to escape twice. The first time she was caught immediately. On the second attempt, she wandered for 7 hours through the jungle. “Then I was picked up by fighters from another camp.”
Commenting on her release, she says: I asked myself why it was that I was flying to Venezuela on a false passport. But I was so relieved that I didn’t really care.”