More police powers in criminal procedures
by Heiner Busch
The last two decades, criminal procedural law was subject to a series of changes which granted, particularly the police, more powers in preliminary investigations. The Criminal Procedural Code, once considered the Magna Carta of the rights of the accused, has been transformed into the Law on Internal Security.
Draft discussion paper on the reform of criminal procedures
by Jasper von Schlieffen
In February 2004, government factions and the Ministry of Justice presented a draft discussion paper on the reform of criminal procedures. Amongst other things, the draft proposes to include the defence more in interrogations during preliminary investigations. This is a careful step into the right direction, which, however, is taken back through other proposed restrictive measures.
Surveillance of telecommunications – still no reform
by Björn Gercke
A comprehensive reform of criminal procedural surveillance of telecommunications (Telekommunikationsüberwachung – TKÜ) has been discussed for several years now. Although law enforcement agencies, defence lawyers, courts, scholars and law makers by now all agree, that the TKÜ should be „integrated into a harmonious comprehensive system of criminal procedural covert investigation methods“, the question is, firstly, what this system should look like and, secondly, when government and parliament will put their will to reform into practice.
The EU’s criminal legislation
by Michael Sturm
Criminal and criminal procedural legislation at EU level favours the one-sided view of law enforcement agencies. The ideological background is the claim of a „fundamental right to security“ which is being used to implement allegedly efficient procedural operations within the harmonisation of criminal matters in Europe. The rights of the accused are thereby sacrificed on the altar of an alleged „efficiency of criminal prosecution“.
The Hamburg al-Qaeda trials
by Stefan Waterkamp
That state institutions consciously attack the obligatory ‚truth finding mission‘ of the courts is not a new phenomenon. It also became apparent in the regional court of Hamburg during the trial against the two Moroccans El Motassadeq and Mzoudi. The US did not grant the imprisoned Binalshib to appear as a witness to the trial. The German foreign intelligence service (Bundesnachrichtendienst) and the Federal Crime Police Authority (Bundeskriminalamt) blocked the relevant transcripts of interrogation they were in possession of. The Federal Court of Justice therefore had to overturn Motassadeq’s sentence on appeal. Mzoudi was acquitted on first instance.
The worth of the right of non-Germans to live in freedom …
by Silke Studzinsky
Foreigners without a residency permit who are released from detention after having received a criminal sentence do not end up in freedom. Without a decision on an arrest warrant, they are arrested straightaway in court and sent into deportation detention. This is an unlawful practice. Police officers, public prosecutors and judges all take part in this deprivation of personal liberty.
An ordered and „controlled“ delivery of cocaine
by Anja Lederer
In late 2003, with the help of an undercover agent, police and customs succeeded in bringing fourteen kilos of cocaine from Latin America to Germany and arrested three subordinate players in the drugs underworld. Early 2004, a Berlin court sentenced the three to long prison sentences on grounds of organised drugs trade. However, without the „help“ of the police, the cocaine would have never reached Germany. This case clearly proves that undercover police activities do not deliver what they promise.
The EU intensifies sea border controls
by Mark Holzberger
By now, long before the external border and at the latest on the Mediterranean, the EU is using many means to stop unwanted immigrants to reach Europe. However, up to now, the EU cannot answer the decisive question, which is what should happen to these refugees, who are stopped and apprehended outside the borders of European jurisdiction?
Regional Crime Police authority promotes denunciation
by Rolf Gössner
Since October 2003, the Lower Saxony regional Crime Police Authority (Landeskriminalamt – LKA) is running a unique project, which is supposed to help in the fight against corruption. Through the internet, citizens can give anonymous hints on who’s allegedly bribing whom or on alleged fraudulent claim to public money. The project has earned the LKA a „dispraising mention“ at this year’s Big Brother Awards.