German attorney general dismissed for govt treason case

Attorney general sacked after complaint over government interference in treason case

German attorney general Harald Range was dismissed after his complaint that the government was meddling in the justice system’s independence, on Tuesday.

The attorney general was removed from his post after he claimed the government was meddling with the judiciary’s independence, over the case of two journalists, Markus Beckedahl and Andre Meiste, who were under trial for posting confidential documents online.

Range who happens to be one of the top senior judicial figures of the country, claimed that the government had ordered him to stop an independent investigation into the case of the two journalists.

He said the government was, “exerting influence on the investigation just because of its possible consequences, which might not be politically opportune, is an unacceptable attack against the independence of the judiciary.”

“Press freedom is a high value. But this freedom is not limitless, even on the Internet. It does not release journalists from adhering to the law. Just as with press freedom, the independence of the judiciary is also protected by the constitution,” Range added.

Justice Minister Heiko Maas said Range’s claims were “incomprehensible” and asked for his retirement as he has “lost trust in [Range’s] administration.”

He had begun an independent investigation into the treason probe on Friday, and was conducting a review into whether the files were sensitive enough to call the case treason.He later confirmed that the documents involved a “state secret” and that its release warranted prosecution.

The "treason" case is over the release of documents in relation to the BfV domestic security agency, which prompted swift action from the German government.


TRTWorld and agencies