Anna on Mon, 26 May 2008 17:41:49 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> News on the Berlin terrorism case and three similar cases (en, it, de)

*Coalition for the Immediate End to the §129a Proceedings*

Not much is happening recently in the former terrorism case in Berlin
which is a case against seven men now (still) accused of forming a
"criminal organisation" (§129, German penal code). The investigation is
dragging on, surveillance is still being performed against everyone
including partners, family, friends and everyone who is getting in touch.

In April a *videoclip was published* about the work of the supporting
Coalition for the Immediate End to the § 129a Proceedings. An English
language version can be viewed online or downloaded in high and low
quality here:

In May more *witnesses were called* by the Federal Prosecutor to testify
in Karlsruhe. One refused to testify and this was accepted by the judge,
two others as a result didn't need to appear in court. A fourth, Pedram
Shahyar, one of the spokespeople of Attac Germany, was also called to
testify. He answered several questions about his relation to Andrej Holm
and his partner but refused to answer questions that touched details of
the G8 protests last year.

One day after his testimony a *press conference* was scheduled. Some of
those charged with terrorism in four different cases against political
activists in Germany presented information about the current situation
of their respective cases. The lawyers called for the cessation of the
cases. Below you can find

- Statement by the accused and their supporters in four §129(a) cases
- A press release on the press conference on the anniversary of the G8
searches: Lawyers demand the cessation of the proceedings

You can find the texts in Italian and German at:


*End the criminalisation of left-wing structures*
*For the immediate cessation of the 129(a) investigations*!

Statement by the accused and their supporters in four §129(a) cases

In the last year four terrorism investigations of left-wing activists
have been uncovered, which has led to wide spread criticism of the
practices of the investigation authorities. Away from the eyes of the
public the investigations in all four cases are still ongoing and with
them the surveillance operations of over 40 people. Although the Federal
Court judges devolved one of the cases from the remit of the Federal
Prosecution to that of the regional authorities already in November and
December 2007, the files have still not been passed on. In another case
potentially exonerating evidence is not being released by the federal
investigation authorities. Tomorrow is the anniversary of three of the
cases being made public for the first time.

On May 9th 2007 officers of the Federal Criminal Investigation Office
stormed 40 appartments, offices and projects of left-wing activists. The
official justification was the search for a terrorist organisation
"militant campaign to prevent the G8 summit". The Germany-wide searches
were the high point of repression against social movements and left-wing
activists in the run up to the G8 summit last year in Heiligendamm.
Amongst those affected by the searches were three people from Berlin who
at the time had already been subject to a seven year long investigation
due to alleged membership in a terrorist organisation ("militant group").

Shortly after these Germany-wide searches, the appartments of young
antifascists in Bad Oldesloe and Berlin were searched. Here the charge
was also: formation of a terrorist organisation under §129a of German
criminal law.

Further proceedings against alleged members of a "militant group" led to
arrests on July 31st 2007. The public protests against the imprisonment
of Dr Andrej Holm led to the suspension of the custodial warrant by the
Federal Courts. A further decision led the Federal Courts to bail three
further people who were in custody and repealed the use of terrorism
legislation in their cases.

All four cases began as §129a investigations due to the suspicion of
membership in a terrorist organisation. In at least two of the four
cases the Office for the Protection of the Constitution initiated the
investigations and partly also steered them in a particular direction.
In the meantime, in three of the four cases, the Federal Court judges
have criticised the investigation authorities, have questioned whether
the cases fall under the remit of the Federal Prosecution and the
Federal Criminal Investigation Office, and in all cases have repealed
the use of the terrorism legislation §129a.

In all four cases the extent of surveillance exceeded the legal limits.
In some cases, over many years, surveillance measures were regularly
extended by the judges, even though complete surveillance had not
yielded any clues that might have confirmed original suspicions. This
coincides with the following logic: If no clues are found that
substantiate the suspicions, the accused is behaving conspiratorially,
which then strengthens the suspicion. Thus, evermore surveillance
measures were granted that invaded evermore of the privacy of the
accused individuals and included evermore of the surrounding
relationships of those affected. The absurd epitome of this logic was
the forced collection of scent specimens.

The Federal Criminal Investigation Office and the secret services are
not subject to any control mechanisms. In the process of these four
cases it is apparent that neither the judges nor parliamentary instances
have any capacities to limit the activities of the security authorities.
As the files in these four cases show, the protection of core areas of
people's private lives, the protection of employment privacy and legal
protections have had no influence on the Federal Office for the
Protection of the Constitution.

The Criminal Investigation Office must not be allowed to exercise secret
service activities. The practices of the Criminial Investigation Office
are a not in line with the existing legislation. The extension of the
remit of the Criminal Investigation Office is taking place with which
new investigative and secret service activities are to be enabled.

The total surveillance of the left-wing scene has to stop. The §§129, a
and b have to be abolished. The searches on May 9th, according to the
authorities' own admissions, have not served to solve any crimes. With
more than 40 accused and about 2 000 people in total falling under the
remit of these investigations, the §129(a) legislation is being used to
ensure a complete surveillance and intimidation of the left-wing scene.
According to the information in the files to date, more than 200
judicial decisions have enabled the surveillance of about 100 telephone
connections, 60 email addresses and the video surveillance of at least
20 residential addresses. With at least 14 bugging operations and the
use of 12 tracking devices, surveillance technology has also been used
extensively. Independently of concrete suspicions such §129(a)
investigations primarily serve to spy on left-wing structures.

We demand the immediate cessation of all §129(a) investigations and the
abolition of the spy legislation 129, a, b!


*Press conference on the anniversary of the G8 searches*
*Lawyers demand the cessation of the proceedings*

Some of those charged in four §129(a) proceedings
c/o Coalition for the Immediate End to the § 129a Proceedings
Haus der Demokratie und Menschenrechte e.V.
Greifswalder Straße 4
D-10405 Berlin


Press Release

Berlin, May 8, 2008

On the occasion of the anniversary of the Germany-wide searches before
the G8 summit on May 9th 2007, Katja Kipping (member of the German
Parliament for the Left Party "Die Linke"), Pedram Shahyar (member of
the Attac Coordination group) and the two lawyers Christina Clemm
(Berlin) and Alexander Hoffmann (Kiel) demanded the cessation of the
§129a proceedings against 40 left-wing activists. The invitation to the
press conference was made by those charged in four different §129(a) cases.

Christina Clemm, a lawyer in the so-called "G8 case" and the most recent
"mg case" said: "The searches could only be carried out because of the
existence of the §129a legislation". If the Federal Prosecution had
followed the current decisions of the Federal Court, there should never
have been this extent of surveillance and searches."

Her colleague, Alexander Hoffmann, defense lawyer in the "Bad Oldesloe
Case", criticised the role of the Federal Office for the Protection of
the Constitution: "The Federal Office for the Protection of the
Constitution's direct participation in the police investigations went
far beyond what was allowed". He reminded that about 2000 people are
affected by these investigations. Against this backdrop he vehemently
warned against misunderstanding the process of judicial review as an
effective way of ensuring the protection of basic rights.

Katja Kipping, the acting party leader of the Left Party (Die Linke) and
member of the German Parliament attributes these investigations in the
"context of the restructuring of Germany's security architecture". This,
says Kipping, "is particularly apparent in the relinquishing of the
separation between police and secret services", as could be observed in
the investigations". For this reason she rejected the new BKA law and
demanded the abolishment of the "spy law" 129a.

Pedram Shahyar, member of the ATTAC coordination group, drew attention
to a further aspect of this restructuring, the deployment of the German
military within the country during the G8 summit. He summarised the
investigations with the following: "The repression before the G8 summit
was intended to split the social movements. Politically, the Federal
Prosecution failed to achieve this." The ATTAC activist who had been
called as a witness in the proceedings against Dr Holm et al the
previous day, demanded the cessation of the proceedings and the deletion
of the data that had been "unlawfully gathered".

A detailed overview of the extent of the surveillance in the four
§129(a) cases can be found in the press conference press info:
Pressemappe , with a table containing numbers of different surveillance
measures that have been carried out (both in German)


THANKS to the translators!
If you can help do more translations, please contact me.

D8CA 5A27 CF02 D93E 8713 BB16 DF54 007A 8BD0 27FC

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