Damaging Ties: Why Germany is the Integrity Initiative’s ‘Most Important Target’

Kit Klarenberg
12 min readAug 24, 2019

On the afternoon of 4th January 2019, I was putting the finishing touches to a series of articles documenting Integrity Initiative’s activities in Germany, when another tranche of documents appropriated from the organisation’s internal servers leaked on the web. The content was so explosive I was forced to put the multi-part project on hold.

The new trove included several highly incriminating files related to the poisoning of Sergei Skripal in March 2018, which raised a number of extremely serious questions about the shadowy Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) funded ‘think tank’ and its connections with the affair.

A few hours after publishing a piece based on a precursory investigation of the documents, I received a curious email from political scientist Hannes Adomeit — the subject line ‘Criminal Charges against Kit Klarenberg’ — which made me somewhat glad I’d postponed my German series.

‘Confidential Communications’

For some time, I’d been attempting to reach out to Adomeit and other individuals — prominent German politicians, businesspeople, military officials, academics and journalists — named in an ‘interim report’ on the Initiative’s German cluster. It appeared he led the cluster, and produced the write-up for his FCO-bankrolled paymasters in October 2018.

Responses to my enquiries were few, and Adomeit’s communication shed potential light on why — he’d automatically consigned my email to his ‘trash’ folder as it’d been sent from an ‘@sputniknews.com’ address.

“On second thought, however, I regretted it and asked my colleague Harold Elletson, whom you also contacted, for your address. I also retrieved it from the email you sent to Reporters without Borders board member Gemma Poerzgen. The reconsideration was spurred by your contacting other actual or potential members of the German cluster, and the point is to ask you how you succeeded in breaking into confidential communications — in this case the information I met or was going to meet with Gemma Poerzgen in October of last year. This information was not made public in any way by either Ms. Poerzgen or me,” he wrote.

Hannes Adomeit Threatens Kit Klarenberg With Criminal Charges
Kit Klarenberg

Investigative journalist exposing state crimes against democracy. Made with the highest German attention to the wrong details.