Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Last night I was too tired for a coherent criticism of a simplification of the situation as Germany vs. Spain, but now some words. There are several players here - here with nice numbering.

Even in Spain, though AFAIK the terrorism charges for those indicted along with Yarkas were disputed only from outside the judicial branch (journalists and parliamentarians in the Alouni case), the quality of evidence had been contentious: Garzón (S.2) said police investigators (S.1) overstated their case, and then the public prosecutor of the Supreme Court (S.3) said that

"The evidence considered by the court ... is weak and inconsistent ... and does not fulfil the level of requirement that it must reasonably and necessarily meet to persuade and convince," the prosecutor said of the conspiracy conviction.

In Germany, originally, the Hamburg prosecutors (G.1) and justice minister (G.2; from the CDU) would have been more than happy with Spain taking care of Darkazanli, and the federal justice minister (G.3; from the SPD) went along them -- after all, his flight to Spain was already booked when the first extradiction was stopped. It was stopped by the German Constitutional Court (G.5), and checking articles from back then, all the players who'd liked to have Darkazanli dumped to Spain (as well as the neocon-friendly parts of the media) talked about a big embarrassment.

Another player is the Federal Attorney General. (Unlike the American one, who is in effect also the justice minister, this is an independent post.) Or more precisely, two players, because there was a replacement. The previous Federal Attorney General, Kay Nehm (G.4a; in office from 1994, hence a Kohl/CDU appointee) oversaw and pursued the cases of the men from Atta's circle still in Hamburg; I note that that included convictions on similar contentious circumstantial evidence as the Alouni case. In the articles I read back yesterday, I find Nehm at first didn't want to deal with Darkazanli for lack of evidence, then was pushed into it by the colleagues from the states (G.1) and the justice ministry (G.3) -- again with not much result. The case was taken up again by his successor from 2006 (towards the end of the EAW implementation law re-drafting), Monica Harms (G.4b). From the articles, this happened not against the wishes of the Spansh colleagues, who pressed for a prosecution of Darkazanli in Germany after the failure of the extradiction.

While Spain issued the second EAW, Harms closed her case. Ignoring that, the Hamburg justice minister (G.2) wrote a letter to his federal colleague (G.3), urging her to get the extradiction moving. The reply was that there is no playing room and the request must be denied because Harms's ruling is a "mandatory obstacle to removal". The Hamburg justice minister then wrote his letter denying the extradiction request, and then immediately went to the media to express his disapproval and to attack the federal justice minister -- a nice political show, but apparently he couldn't afford to attack Harns (not to mention getting the prosecutors of his own state to find any prosecutable evidence).

In the background of all this, there was another group of players -- in America. That included neocon politicians regularly accusing recalcitrant 'allies' of turning a blind eye on terrorism, including any case when a suspect wasn't found guilty; CIA agents plotting renditions or assassinations in the dark -- and a judiciary that might issue an extradiction request, which EU members would have to deny if the death penalty or torture were among the possibilities.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Fri Dec 4th, 2009 at 04:57:04 AM EST
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