BONN (Mar. 4)
A spokesman for the West German Government said today that the Interior Ministry was still studying the possibility of “recalling” West German scientists working in Arab countries. Israel last year accused the Bonn Government of failing to act to recall scientists accused of working on advanced weapons systems for Egypt.
“We are trying to determine what legal steps are open to us without undertaking constitutional changes,” the spokesman said. It was indicated that government officials had determined there was a legal basis for revoking passports of West German citizens abroad who act against the interests of the West German Government or violate its laws.
However, the spokesman explained that if the country in which the individual is working does not deport him after revocation of his passport, there is nothing the West German Government can do without it. The “recall” idea now under study would empower the government to order the citizen to return under penalty of persecution. While this would not necessarily assure that he would do so, the spokesman said, it would probably affect the decision of citizens abroad planning eventually to return to West Germany.
A scientist working in Egypt, for example, would not be affected by a recall law if he had no intention of returning to Germany, the spokesman said. But if he did intend to return, failure to do so on recall by West Germany would subject him to legal action on his eventual return.