Skater Witt Withdraws Complaint
May. 08, 2002
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BERLIN (AP) _ Katarina Witt will not block the release of 181 pages of secret police files showing she benefited from the former East Germany's communist regime.
A Berlin court issued an injunction in February preventing the release of the pages after the star figure skater objected. But her lawyer told the court she is withdrawing her complaint, the government agency administering the files said Wednesday.
The pages will now be quickly prepared for release, the agency said. Witt's lawyers couldn't be reached for comment Wednesday.
A product of East Germany's powerful sports machine, Witt was among top athletes who enjoyed extra privileges, including freedom to travel. But she insists she never worked for the Stasi, the East German secret police.
Last year, the 1984 and 1988 Olympic gold medalist sued to prevent the release of more than 1,300 pages from her Stasi file to a journalist, arguing she was covered by protection afforded to the victims of the spy agency.
Her case was helped by former Chancellor Helmut Kohl's successful legal campaign to keep his own file closed, on the grounds the wiretaps were illegal and he should not be victimized twice.
In a decision in March that had broad implications for public access to the communist-era spy files, a federal court upheld a ruling in Kohl's favor. It said protection for victims of the Stasi outweighed the value of releasing the spy records on public figures to historians and journalists.