Federal Interior Minister Horst Seehofer (CSU) threatened the author of a column criticizing the police in the newspaper “tageszeitung” with a criminal complaint without first having her text thoroughly legally checked. This is evident from statements made by the Ministry after a complaint from the Tagesspiegel to the Administrative Court of Berlin for information (Az .: VG 27 L 190/20).
According to this letter, Seehofer personally, two days after the text was published in mid-June, “instructed the competent police force of the ministry” to draw up a ministerial draft of a criminal complaint against the author of the ‘taz’ column ‘All officers are incapacitated ‘”. The draft text was “presented to the management” a day later.
On June 22, Seehofer announced in the newspaper “Bild” that “tomorrow, as federal interior minister, he would file criminal charges against the columnist over the unspeakable article”. A little later, however, after discussions with Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU), he declined.
The officials of the responsible “Police and Prosecution” section of the Ministry’s “Public Security” section did not openly investigate the matter, for example in an expert report, but simply implemented Seehofer’s personal view that journalist Hengameh Yaghoobifarah was a criminal offense. would have committed.
The Berlin prosecutor’s office will soon confirm that the minister, who describes himself as an “experienced lawyer”, is wrong. As reported, there is not even a suspicion of insult or hatred at first. Accordingly, no further investigation proceedings should be initiated against Yaghoobifarah. The public prosecutor’s office is currently preparing a final statement.
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Nevertheless, as evidenced by a press release, Seehofer insists that the columnist “also committed criminal offenses through the inhumane choice of words”.
Seehofer’s secret remains as to which these should be and how this is justified. According to his will, details of his home’s ad design are not to be disclosed. In the legal dispute with the Tagesspiegel, the ministry said that press inquiries about the details of Seehofer’s actions in this case “interfered with the minister’s private life in an intolerable way.” However, some of the requested information has been provided. A decision by the administrative judge on the other requests for information is still pending.
The lack of a legal investigation could also play a role in the question of whether Seehofer can maintain his offense against the author. As reported, Yaghoobifarah has demanded that her attorney refrain from making relevant statements as doing so would disadvantage her. However, these can still be found on the ministry’s website. It is unclear whether the author will take legal action against the Secretary of the Interior.