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(sup) (en) Göteborg-Repression transfered to Germany: Three GBG-verdicts in Germany so far
Tue, 24 Jun 2003 23:47:08 +0200 (CEST)
A - I N F O S N E W S S E R V I C E
May 2002 the Swedish Public Prosecutor Ahlstrand announced, that seven
Germans should be accused in Germany because of Swedish indictments related
to the EU-Summit in Gothenburg 2001. In autumn 2002 the first house searches
and charges in Germany followed. Here is a overview of what happened
here so far.
On Thursday, 27th of March 2003, a court in Berlin sentenced the activist
Timm to two years prison on a three year period of probation. The blame
is violent rioting and bodily harm during the EU-Summit in Gothenburg
2001. This trial was the first one against a activist charged because
of GBG2001 which took place in Germany. As evidences against him they
used pictures and films taken during the riots on the Avenyn and at the
Vasapark. There were no prosecution witnesses from Sweden present. This
is worth mentioning, because it would have lead to high expenses for
the sentenced. Timm confessed the counts of the accusation and justified
his actions with the aggressive behavior of the Swedish Police. The court
broke a deal between prosecutor and lawyer that limited the punishment
to 20 months. In his reason the judge made clear that the decision was
mainly influenced by political motivations. On the 8th Feb. Timm was
taken in custody after his home was searched. Among the thin
gs the police took with them were clothes, letters and pictures. He
had to stay in custody for 34 days.
Erik Wijk wrote a press release (in Swedish) regarding this trial (which
can be found here: http://www.motkraft.net/nyheter/707 ). Wijk compared
this sentence to similar sentences in Sweden (There were also some articles
in the Swedish media, but as far as we can tell some facts got really
screwed up). Wijk is for sure right when he wrote, that Timm would have
got an harder sentence if his trial would have taken place in Sweden.
But compared to past violent rioting-cases in Berlin (keeping trials
connected to the 1th May-riots in mind), Timm got a quite high sentence.
There are at least eleven persons in Germany, that are subject of investigations
or are accused in connection with GBG2001. The explanation for this number
being higher than the famous seven Germans, that the public prosecutor
in Gothenburg was talking about, are the efforts of German Police and
Prosecution, mainly in Berlin. Four of the accused are from other cities
than Berlin or the district surrounding Berlin and are probably all among
these seven. The additional accusations are based on investigations done
by the Criminal Investigation Department Berlin. It seems, that they
work a lot with the evidences they got from Swedish authorities and compare
it with their own files. Some of the 'new' cases affect people who were
NOT arrested nor controlled during the summit or on the way there.
On of these cases was the second trial on the 19th of May. The activist
M. was charged because of violent rioting, but M. was just sentenced
because of criminal damage. His verdict was to attend a first-aid-weekend-
In Bremen one activist received a penalty order in the beginning of May.
The sentence was one year prison on a three year period of probation
and he was accused of violent rioting and bodily harm in two cases. This
is the latest sentence, but we are expecting further trials in Germany
during this summer.
It is confirmed, that the cooperation between Swedish and German police/prosecutions
was not just very close before and during the summit, but it still is.
For example in January Swedish Police and Prosecutors traveled to Berlin
probably because of the searches (By the way, they also paid a visit
to the Luxemburg-Liebknecht-Demonstration, where also some activists/groups
from Sweden were present).
Apparently the German investigations do not simple aim at condemning
activists, but are also use this occasion to get more informations about
local structures. There have been extensive observations in Berlin, which
somehow cannot only be justified with what the observed person is supposed
to have done in Gothenburg. Also during interrogations the questions
drifted away to topics that had nothing to do with Gothenburg. In fact
this is nothing new but is rather common since many years that investigators
take advantage of inquiries and try to gather informations on groups
and their activities.
The condition to transfer the charges from Sweden to Germany is, that
the assumed crime must be punishable in both countries. This does not
just affect Sweden and Germany, but all countries that signed the "European
Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters" from 1959
gives the full text of this convention and also which countries signed
it; Article 21 is the relevant one). If and how Eurojust has to do with
this is still unclear (More on Eurojust:
The German law regarding rioting is quite similar to the Swedish "vaaldsamt
upplopp". The German lawbook also distinguishes between rioting and
violent rioting ("schwerer Landfriedensbruch"). The German violent rioting
is punishable with imprisonment between six month and ten years. There
is a slight difference between "Landfriedensbruch" and "vaaldsamt upplopp":
In Sweden it is desicive if the crowd was violent, but in Germany it
must be proved, that the individual was acting violent. So in Germany
you can physically be part of a violent riot and getting accused just
for a 'regular' riot - on condition they can't prove more than that you
were present at the riot (and on condition you got caught, of course).
All accusations transfered from Sweden to Germany are about rioting.
In one case this transfer did not work out. The search warrant against
one German activist, that is supposed to have taken part in the outbreak
of the White Overalls from the Hvitfeldska School during the summit,
was refused by a German court (in Germany house searches must be approved
by a judge). Here the evidence were - once again - photos and films from
the Swedish police. The judge came to the conclusion, that it was not
obvious that this outbreak was a "Landfriedensbruch". We have to wait
and see, how the Swedish Prosecution will deal with this. One possibility
could be, that the prosecution tries to take the case back to Sweden.
But for doing this the legal fundament is not clear enough yet.
This was a brief overview of the situation in Germany. We are very interested
to hear how the situation in the other European countries is. As far
as we know there are other accusations in Norway, Finland, Denmark and
the Netherlands. Also we do not know much about the current situation
in Sweden. Feel free to pass informations to Germany.
Gbg-Solidarity-Folks in Bremen /DE
Contact us via Ermittlungsausschuss (Legalteam) Bremen
Groups in Germany dealing with the Gothenburg-Aftermath:
Network of Solidarity-Groups and Accused, firstname.lastname@example.org
Gipfelsoli Infogruppe, email@example.com - Info- and Solidaritygoup
Ermittlungsausschuss Berlin - Legalteam Berlin, firstname.lastname@example.org,
Gneisenaustr. 2A, 10961 Berlin
Ermittlungsausschuss Bremen, email@example.com , EA Bremen c/o Infoladen,
St.-Pauli-Str.10/12, 28203 Bremen
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