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Hydrogen affair: Handelsblatt silenced reporters after revelation

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Hydrogen affair: Handelsblatt silenced reporters after revelation

picture alliance / Hubert Burda Media | Picture Alliance for DLD/Hubert Burda Media, picture alliance / Caro | Bastian

A felt affair is currently shaking the Federal Ministry of Transport. In mid-February, Minister Volker Wissing (FDP) fired the head of the hydrogen department, Klaus Bonhoff. It’s about the accusation of nepotism. The ministry is said to have funded a hydrogen project worth millions, in which there were close personal connections between Bonhoff and the beneficiaries. Bonhoff has not yet commented on the allegations, but is said to have denied them internally. The extent of the affair cannot yet be predicted; Wissing has put all hydrogen projects on hold for the time being.

The affair surrounding the questionable handling of taxpayers’ money was uncovered by journalist Daniel Delhaes. The experienced “Handelsblatt” editor is considered a proven transport expert and is well connected in the Berlin political world. Last summer, Delhaes reported on the department head’s friendships with representatives of the hydrogen industry, who also received funding. Bonhoff was considered “Mister Hydrogen” in the ministry.

But Delhaes’ initial joy at the journalistic scoop quickly gave way to frustration at his employer’s handling of the case. According to research by Business Insider, the “Handelsblatt” ignored the reporter who revealed the affair. Delhaes was therefore put under massive pressure, withdrawn from reporting and silenced.

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