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Media crowd at Reichsbürger raid: Courts object to the secrecy of the authorities

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The Federal Public Prosecutor and the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) should not have kept details of their media work secret in the run-up to the Reich Citizens’ raid last year. This was decided by the responsible administrative courts in Karlsruhe and Wiesbaden after complaints by the Tagesspiegel.

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After the raid on December 7, 2022, the authorities involved came under criticism because TV cameras and journalists were already waiting at many locations in Germany. It was not only in circles close to the AfD that the accusation was made that the investigating officials had staged the spectacular access. The Attorney General and the Federal Criminal Police Office denied this. At the same time, however, they refused to provide information about their media contacts in advance.

Attorney General warned against premature reporting

The first answers only came after the Tagesspiegel had filed urgent requests for information from the press with the courts.

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According to its own statements, the BKA knew by December 5 at the latest based on a written request that the investigations were no longer classified. In addition, there were “isolated telephone inquiries”.

Federal Public Prosecutor Peter Frank also admitted in the process that the investigators had known before the access that the measures had become known to media circles ahead of time. In some cases, the authority therefore issued a “general warning” to journalists “that premature reporting would jeopardize the purpose of the investigation”. The authority indirectly confirmed the research.

The Attorney General initially did not want to provide any further information because of allegedly threatening “inferences about research and editorial activities” by the requesting media, but then changed his mind and announced that “among other things, a written notice was received by the press office of the Federal Prosecutor’s Office on December 6, 2022 “. Nothing else can be reconstructed.

The investigations of the Attorney General are measures in the public interest; this also includes the question of whether details of investigations and planned search measures were announced in advance to the media present at the search measures.

The Wiesbaden Administrative Court in its decision on the Tagesspiegel lawsuit

According to the information provided, a court decision on the matter was no longer necessary. The administrative courts that are locally responsible for the respective authorities in Karlsruhe (for the GBA, Az.: 3 K 4411/22) and in Wiesbaden (for the BKA, Az.: 2 L 1489/22.WI) now largely oblige the authorities to Bearing the costs of the proceedings: The administrative court in Karlsruhe determined that the right to have the questions answered “did not conflict with any interests worthy of protection”. The threat of disclosure of research “should not be the case here”.

The Wiesbaden Administrative Court expressly supports the request for information: “The investigations of the Attorney General are measures in the public interest; This also includes the question of whether details of investigations and planned searches were announced in advance and the operation could therefore possibly have been jeopardized,” the decision says.

If the BKA had not disclosed the information requested during the process, the urgent application “would probably have been successful”.

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Source: Tagesspiegel

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