There were different times when the parliamentary groups in the Hessian state parliament set up the Lübcke Committee of Inquiry in the summer of 2020. The Prime Minister was still called Volker Bouffier. And the opposition liked the idea of embarrassing the head of government and his responsible interior minister Peter Beuth (both CDU) in the year of the state election with the role of the Office for the Protection of the Constitution in the spectacular crime against the long-standing district president in Kassel. But in the meantime, Bouffier has resigned, and Beuth has announced his departure from politics.

Showering the two with accusations no longer impresses voters too much. Without the opposition being able to do anything about it, their strategy comes to nothing. If the two previous meetings of the committee of inquiry went without major controversy, this may also be related to the fact that confidential talks on climate care are already taking place between the parties with regard to the state election.

In view of the always close election results in Hesse, it cannot hurt to form an opinion in good time on the question of who could form a coalition with whom after the election on 8 October. Such preliminary soundings are disturbed by excessively sharp attacks by the opposition on the governing parties.

This also applies in view of the largely undisputed facts. The Office for the Protection of the Constitution had lost sight of the later murderer Walter Lübcke. This is a serious omission, which the state government has not seriously denied for years. The significance of the accusation is put into perspective by the fact that the murder took place almost four years ago and the authority now seems to be much better positioned in terms of personnel, structure and strategy than at the time of its failure.

In 38 long meetings, the Committee of Inquiry did not come to light any significant new findings. Politicians seem to have already drawn the necessary conclusions from the mistakes of the Office for the Protection of the Constitution. The hypothetical question remains open as to whether the murder could have been prevented if the Office for the Protection of the Constitution had not blocked the perpetrator's personal file for normal official use four years before the crime.

Would the authority then have acted differently? No, Bouffier believes. The long-standing head of government, interior minister and lawyer pointed out that there was no legal basis for an observation of the later murderer.

It almost seemed as if Bouffier had spoken the final word on the year-long event. He presented himself to the committee of inquiry into the murder of his long-time companion with the empathy of his old friend, the expertise of a fully qualified lawyer and the skill of the politician. Once again, the seventy-one-year-old demonstrated why he was able to play such an outstanding role in Hesse over two decades.