End the criminalisation of left-wing structures -- for the immediate cessation of the 129(a) investigations!

Statement by the accused and their supporters in four §129(a) cases

In the last year four terrorism investigations of left-wing activists have been uncovered, which has led to wide spread criticism of the practices of the investigation authorities. Away from the eyes of the public the investigations in all four cases are still ongoing and with them the surveillance operations of over 40 people. Although the Federal Court judges devolved one of the cases from the remit of the Federal Prosecution to that of the regional authorities already in November and December 2007, the files have still not been passed on. In another case potentially exonerating evidence is not being released by the federal investigation authorities. Tomorrow is the anniversary of three of the cases being made public for the first time.

On May 9th 2007 officers of the Federal Criminal Investigation Office stormed 40 appartments, offices and projects of left-wing activists. The official justification was the search for a terrorist organisation "militant campaign to prevent the G8 summit". The Germany-wide searches were the high point of repression against social movements and left-wing activists in the run up to the G8 summit last year in Heiligendamm. Amongst those affected by the searches were three people from Berlin who at the time had already been subject to a seven year long investigation due to alleged membership in a terrorist organisation ("militant group").

Shortly after these Germany-wide searches, the appartments of young antifascists in Bad Oldesloe and Berlin were searched. Here the charge was also: formation of a terrorist organisation under §129a of German criminal law.

Further proceedings against alleged members of a "militant group" led to arrests on July 31st 2007. The public protests against the imprisonment of Dr Andrej Holm led to the suspension of the custodial warrant by the Federal Courts. A further decision led the Federal Courts to bail three further people who were in custody and repealed the use of terrorism legislation in their cases.

All four cases began as §129a investigations due to the suspicion of membership in a terrorist organisation. In at least two of the four cases the Office for the Protection of the Constitution initiated the investigations and partly also steered them in a particular direction. In the meantime, in three of the four cases, the Federal Court judges have criticised the investigation authorities, have questioned whether the cases fall under the remit of the Federal Prosecution and the Federal Criminal Investigation Office, and in all cases have repealed the use of the terrorism legislation §129a.

In all four cases the extent of surveillance exceeded the legal limits. In some cases, over many years, surveillance measures were regularly extended by the judges, even though complete surveillance had not yielded any clues that might have confirmed original suspicions. This coincides with the following logic: If no clues are found that substantiate the suspicions, the accused is behaving conspiratorially, which then strengthens the suspicion. Thus, evermore surveillance measures were granted that invaded evermore of the privacy of the accused individuals and included evermore of the surrounding relationships of those affected. The absurd epitome of this logic was the forced collection of scent specimens.

The Federal Criminal Investigation Office and the secret services are not subject to any control mechanisms. In the process of these four cases it is apparent that neither the judges nor parliamentary instances have any capacities to limit the activities of the security authorities. As the files in these four cases show, the protection of core areas of people's private lives, the protection of employment privacy and legal protections have had no influence on the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution.

The Criminal Investigation Office must not be allowed to exercise secret service activities. The practices of the Criminial Investigation Office are a not in line with the existing legislation. The extension of the remit of the Criminal Investigation Office is taking place with which new investigative and secret service activities are to be enabled.

The total surveillance of the left-wing scene has to stop. The §§129, a and b have to be abolished. The searches on May 9th, according to the authorities’ own admissions, have not served to solve any crimes. With more than 40 accused and about 2 000 people in total falling under the remit of these investigations, the §129(a) legislation is being used to ensure a complete surveillance and intimidation of the left-wing scene. According to the information in the files to date, more than 200 judicial decisions have enabled the surveillance of about 100 telephone connections, 60 email addresses and the video surveillance of at least 20 residential addresses. With at least 14 bugging operations and the use of 12 tracking devices, surveillance technology has also been used extensively. Independently of concrete suspicions such §129(a) investigations primarily serve to spy on left-wing structures.

We demand the immediate cessation of all §129(a) investigations and the abolition of the spy legislation 129, a, b!