Delay of Federal Court decisions, Appeal lodged against custodial remand

Coalition for the Immediate End to the 129a Proceedings
c/o Haus der Demokratie und Menschenrechte e.V.
Greifswalder Straße 4
D-10405 Berlin, Germany
einstellung [at]

Press Release, 15th of October 2007

Appeal lodged against the continued custodial remand of Axel H., Oliver R. and Florian L.
Federal Court to take no decisions before 18th October

The German Federal Court of Justice has yet again postponed its deadline for deciding on the Federal Prosecution's appeal against the release of Andrej H. on bail. "We cannot expect a decision before October 18th", commented Cristina Clemm who is legally representing Andrej H.

The Court has announced it will make a categorical decision with respect to the current case against the ?mg?(militant group). In light of this, the lawyers of three further accused, Axel H., Oliver R. and Florian L., have now lodged an appeal against the continued custodial remand of their clients.

Lawyer Stephan Schrage explained the background to the appeal: "Apart from the fact that there has been no evidence provided that the accused are members of the 'mg', a crime investigated under § 129a legislation demands that the attacks of the group must have been able to severely damage the State or 'be capable of removing or substantially encroaching upon the fundamental political, constitutional, economic or social structures of the State'. This I cannot detect either in an arson attack on three army vehicles or any of the other attacks for which the 'mg' is currently being held responsible."

Florian L., Axel H., and Oliver R. have been in custody in Berlin-Moabit prison since the 31st July, having allegedly attempted to set fire to German army vehicles. The same day, Andrej H. was arrested. The activist and sociologist was released on bail on 22nd August. If the Federal Court decides that the § 129a legislation cannot be applied in Andrej H.?s case, this will have significant ramifications for the situation of the other three who are still in custody. "If the Senate concludes that § 129a is not applicable, then the premise for keeping the three men in custody, constructed on the basis of this legisaltion, would no longer be justified. The estimated danger they may abscond could thus be met with the usual conditions of compulsory reporting or bail", said Schrage, who is acting on behalf of Axel H.

A decision by the Federal Court is not expected before October 18th. "It will have huge implications, also for other 129a proceedings", Schrage contintued.

As soon as the Federal Court makes a decision the Coalition for the Immediate End to the 129a Proceedings will invite you to an immediate press conference.

Notes to the Editors:

1. On July 31st 2007 Florian L, Axel H., Oliver R. and Andrej H. were arrested and charged with membership in a terrorist organisation, "militante gruppe" [militant group, or "mg"]. The connection between the persons accused of the alleged arson attack on German Army vehicles and the sociologist Dr. Andrej H., as well as two further academics whose homes and workplaces were searched without this resulting in their arrest is based upon the accusation that the academics were researching similar issues, such as "gentrification" and "precarity", as the ones mentioned in statements supposedly published by the mg. This is provided as a reason for the accusation that the academics are the intellectual heads of the mg. Furthermore, Dr. Andrej H. allegedly met up with one of the men accused of the arson attack, although the state prosecution cannot provide any information about what may have been discussed in this meeting. For further information in English, see:

2. These legal constructs are heavily contested as adventurous and to be rejected by broad sections of German society and social movements. On an international level, academics have voiced their protest in letters to the state prosecution. In connection with the raids on 9th May 2007, whereby the homes of 18 alleged anti-G8 campaigners were searched, a coalition has formed to demand the abolition of the German anti-terrorist legislation paragraphs 129, 129a and 129b. They argue that this legislation is being used as part of a wider attack on civil liberties in order to closely observe and intimidate social movements in Germany. For further information in English and other languages, see also

3. The legislation §§ 129, 129a and 129b refer to a set of laws in which those charged are alleged to be members of a "criminal association". 129a refers specifically to membership in an alleged terrorist group with political motivations. 129b refers groups outside of Germany. Critics argue that this legislation is so vague, it actually exists merely to create a basis for extensive surveillance and information gathering on different sections of society when deemed necessary by the authorities.