Lothar de Maizi`ere is the latest in a long line of victims hustled out of political office by persistent accusations of ties to East Germany's dreaded Stasi security police. The human rights lawyer quit the Bonn government and stepped down as deputy leader of Chancellor Helmut Kohl's Christian Democratic Union Dec. 17 after news magazines accused him of having informed for the Stasi for eight years.
Mr. De Maizi`ere denied the allegations, saying his contact with the Stasi was limited to his work defending dissidents, but he stepped down to save his party further trouble.
The only public evidence of De Maizi`ere's ties to the organization was a Stasi filing card published by the news magazine Der Spiegel with his Berlin address as the home of an informer codenamed ``Czerny.''
As East Germany's first and last democratic prime minister, De Maizi`ere refused to allow access to Stasi files, saying it would lead to ``murder and mayhem.''