[Fwd: Radikal: Woman On Trial In Germany For Linking To Banned Site]

Ilan Shalif (gshalif@netvision.net.il)
Tue, 10 Jun 1997 08:37:41 +0300


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Ilan 
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Web Link Tests Limits Of Free Speech; Woman On Trial In Germany For Linking To Banned Site

FRANKFURT - In a case with broad implications for free speech and the Internet in Germany, prosecutors Friday began proceedings against a woman for placing an Internet link to a banned magazine site on her personal home page. A Berlin court heard an hour of opening arguments in the case against Angela Marquardt, a 25-year-old politician from Germany's Party for Democratic Socialism - the remnant of former East Germany's Communist Party. The judge then delayed proceedings until the end of the month so it could call expert witnesses. Marquardt, 25 and a former deputy chairman of the PDS, is accused of supporting and approving of a criminal act by linking from her home page to the left-wing magazine, Radikal. The magazine, published in the Netherlands and banned in Germany, bills itself as a "newspaper from and for the radical left" and recently offered guidance on how to sabotage railway tracks. [Well, that's a bit of a misrepresentation. It showed ways to disrupt train lines to inflict monetary losses on Germany's rail company, which has consistently approved the dangerous transport of nuclear waste across the country by train. - ATS] While the opening day of the trial was cut short, the courtroom did get a good laugh when the two prosecutors admitted that they had only received Internet access a few weeks ago. German legal experts say current law does not deal with many of the issues posed by the emergence of the Internet. The Berlin trial is believed to be the first worldwide which has tackled the issue of regulating electronic links. Marquardt's lawyer and the judge agreed to the delay and the trial is to resume June 30. Marquardt told NBC that she believes that she is only responsible for things she has written herself, not anything that can be reached via one of the links on her home page. Marquardt said the case goes beyond Germany's strident efforts to regulate speech on the Internet and infringes on her political rights. "Right in the middle of the election campaign," she says, "they are trying to find ways to prove that our party has extremist ties and that many of our activities are unconstitutional." She notes that previous efforts by Germany and its leader, Chancellor Helmut Kohl, to have the PDS classified as a threat to democracy have failed.

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Read Radikal!
http://www.xs4all.nl/~radikal

Mirror site with some English translations: http://burn.ucsd.edu/~ats/RADIKAL/index.htm

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