German court frees suspect

10/01/2019 Posted by admin

A European Union arrest warrant would have permitted Syrian-German businessman Mamoun Darkazanli to be handed over to Spain, where he is accused of being Osama bin Laden’s permanent assistant in Europe, and having helped the terrorist network between 1997 and 2002.

He was arrested in Germany in October 2004.

However his lawyers argue that Germans may only be expelled and tried in another country if they are not subject to prosecution under the same charges at home.

The federal constitutional court in the western city of Karlsruhe upheld their argument, finding that the EU arrest warrant does not offer sufficient legal protection for German citizens.

Mr Darkazanli was investigated for several months after the September 11, 2001, attacks in the US, however was not charged.

The ruling means that all German citizens being held for extradition within the EU must be released until new legislation is passed, which allows German judges to review all extradition orders.

An EU extradition order could be rejected by Germany once the law is passed if a domestic probe fails to produce criminal charges against the suspect, according to the court.

While supporting a terrorist group has been illegal since 1976 in Germany, the country only legislated against aiding and abetting a foreign terrorist organisation in August 2002.

At least 19 Germans have been extradited to other EU states since the EU arrest warrant was implemented almost a year ago, for crimes ranging from child abuse to Nazi war crimes.

Mr Darkazanli is suspected of links to three Hamburg-based men who hijacked planes on September 11, however has denied any terrorist activity.

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