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German public prosecutors don't provide sufficient independence [pdf] (europa.eu)
4 points by Tomte 22 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 8 comments

https://verfassungsblog.de/confidence-and-trust/ has an excellent take on this. Some key sentences: "The reasons are obvious: with the right to issue directives, politicians could theoretically influence who is investigated and who is indicted — and, even more relevant, who is not. … The counter-argument has also been known for a long time: The right to give instructions exists so that someone will bear the political responsibility…"

Only Italian prosecutors are really independent. Everywhere else it's a sham.

If if's a sham and you know it, you'll be able to give some examples, won't you? This is about Germany, so please, please, please: An example of any of the 17 relevant ministers shielding someone from prosecution, and one of inappropriate prosecution.

It's a sham because of pure logic. Most democracies are based on the principles of the separation of the three major state powers: Legislature, Executive, Judiciary.

The Basic Principles on the Independence of the Judiciary was also adopted by the United Nations, i.e. also by many non-democratic states. https://www.ohchr.org/EN/ProfessionalInterest/Pages/Independ...

Legislature having the right to infer into important judiciary cases, such as shielding someone from prosecution is undemocratic and violating the Principles on the Independence of the Judiciary.

Hence it's a sham in all United Nations countries but Italy.

The separation of powers is an essential element of the Rule of Law, and is enshrined in constitutions.

The Bavarian justice minister ordered the public prosecutor to drop prosecution against Mollath.

Yes, the Internet mob was happy.

But even if you disagree with my opinion that he should have gone to jail, you will surely agree that this directive by a minister is troubling, even if it is in favor of "your guy".

No. IMO, the moment SZ uncovered that the judge had made that phone call which both parties denied, the case couldn't proceed. Lying witnesses lied plus a lying judge adds up to too much doubt. In dubio pro.

(Didn't the judge refuse to talk about that phone call once its existence was public, too, or am I confusing it with a different case? It's been a few years.)

I have no idea what you're talking about.

There was no judge involved. That's the point. When the justice minister ordered the prosecutor to drop the case (technically, the appeal), the court could not convict, by procedural law.

There was a judge involved, Otto Brixner was his name. Brixner sent Mollath off to a padded cell in 2006 for being deranged and confirmed/extended that a couple of times. Then five or six years later it turned out that at least some of the deranged ramblings about tax evasion and white-collar crimes were correct. Further, Brixner had spoken to the relevant investigators before he sentenced Mollath, Brixner denied having done that, and when someone leaked paperwork that proved that Brixner's denial was a lie, he refused to talk about what was said.

As I recall, there was also other questions. Wasn't there something about where Mollath's possessions ended up, and Brixner refused to talk about that too?

In such a state, Mollath's possible guilt becomes irrelevant. Only an impartial court can sentence, and the border is between "trusted impartiality" and "not trusted". This is why judges are required to recuse themselves if there is a possibility that they may be thought partial, instead of e.g. if they can be proved to be partial, or if the balance of evidence suggests that they may.

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