Long-time readers are familiar with Michael Mannheimer, a German journalist and Counterjihad activist whose work has appeared in this space several times in the past. He also spoke at the Rally for Free Expression in Amsterdam on October 30, 2010.
Mr. Mannheimer has run afoul of politically correct jurisprudence in Modern Multicultural Germany, and was convicted of defamation on April 19 in a Heilbronn courtroom. As the following account makes clear, a kangaroo court would actually have been a judicial improvement.
Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff, who has been through her own legal hell in Austria, sends this introduction to the trial of Michael Mannheimer:
Michael Mannheimer, one of Germany’s most avid — and thus most strongly disliked — critics of Islam has once again been dragged before a judge.
That alone is scandalous; but the manner in which his court appearance took shape is beyond words. A German court system that shudders as a result of the NSU murders and caters to the needs of a foreign entity (i.e. Turkey, which demands — demands!! — to be heard at an court session) seems to have forgotten the basic rules in how to conduct a trial.
Read for yourself and weep.
The following article by Conny Axel Meier was published at Michael Mannheimer’s website. Many thanks to JLH for the translation:
Farce-Trial in Heilbronn District Court
Mannheimer Without Attorney
by Conny Meier, BPE
Lawyer for Islam-Critic Mannheimer not notified of the trial!
(Mannheimer’s attorney did not receive a fax notification until the day of the trial. He was already otherwise engaged. Trial procedure requires a written notification of at least 7 days before the beginning of the trial. Mannheimer had to appear before the court without legal representation.)
A Mockery of a Trial in Heilbronn District Court
In a procedure reminiscent of long-ago show-trials that have nothing to do with the rule of law, author, Michael Merkle — known by the pseudonym Michael Mannheimer — was today sentenced to 60 per diem fines for defamation and infringement of copyright.
April 18, 2013 is one of the darker days for jurisprudence in the Federal Republic. Basic constitutional principles, including regulations for the code of procedure in criminal trials (STPO) were grossly violated, sacrificed on the altar of Multiculturalism and thus exposed to ridicule. Notification of Michael Mannheimer’s attorney was not given until yesterday — by fax, a day before the beginning of the trial and a violation of deadline for notification — although it was a known fact that the attorney had other court obligations on the same day. Postponement was refused by Judge Thomas Berkner, with the flimsiest of reasons. So that is how they assured that Mannheimer would not have the help of his lawyer to defend himself.
Not even from the trials under Roland Freisler* was any defendant known whose right to defense was withheld in such a sleazy fashion. Although the decisions mostly took place before the beginning of those trials, the defendant was pro forma allowed to call upon a defense attorney. Today, the court would even have refused Mannheimer that right. A fair trial procedure does not look like this.
With a massive police presence — riots by the local Antifa were expected — and with security measures similar to terrorist trials, there were approximately ten spectators, half of whom were press from the Heilbronner Stimme [Heilbronn Voice] and the SWR [Southwest Radio], which had been in the forefront with tendentious reports about the “Islam-hater”.
So it happened as it must, and had no doubt been planned. In unbroken unanimity, Judge Thomas Berkner played “trial” for three hours — never once blushing — with the prosecuting attorney, who seemed to me neurotic about his image, and the lachrymose attorney of the co-complainant, Mr. Bodenmiller. On top of that, the co-complainant was allowed to weep out his woes for three-quarters of an hour about how it was for him after the article by Michael Mannheimer: that he was threatened anonymously and had to undergo medical treatment, although the waiting rooms of all the general practitioners in the country might be full of his contemporaries.
In principle, it was about two things. In a 2011 article, Michael Mannheimer is supposed to have (satirically) related Bodenmiller to the SED (Socialist Unity Party) /PDS (Party of Democratic Socialism)/THE LEFT and accused him of membership in the SED. Second, he is supposed to have used a photo of him without permission in a photo collage.
Now, it is true that Mr. Bodenmiller stated to the court that he was absolutely not a member of the SED/PDS/LEFT, but was a member of the CDU in Rottenburg on the Neckar. He had been elected to the city council on an independent ticket he had founded himself, and there formed a faction with the councilor of the LEFT party. That should suffice on its own as a scandal, especially since this arrangement would be so unique. Not in the CDU Rottenburg, if Bodenmiller’s statements prove to be true.
Even if we credit Judge Berkner with honoring Mannheimer’s security concerns and not giving out his residential address or using the illegally acquired bank documents, it was clear that the guilty verdict was a done deal and that the cumulative penalty would be under the three-month level, so as to prevent Mannheimer from contesting this judicial farce. His lawyer has another view. His position is that it is juridically dubious whether this is even an effective judicial decision. His position, in his words:
1. Mr. Mannheimer was unjustly found guilty. 2. His choice of terminology is covered by the basic right of freedom of expression. In the political battle of opinions, such a thing must even be accepted by a leftist Mr. Bodenmiller — without criminal consequences for Mr. Merkle. 3. Mannheimer’s imagery is covered by the right of artistic freedom. Satire, even sharp and polemic, is constitutionally allowed. It is known that the satirical magazine Titanic regularly gets by with all kinds of tasteless material. Then why not Mr. Merkle with his factual criticism and artistic form? 4. There was no fair trial. The court notified the defense attorney by fax on the day of the trial, instead of in writing and a week before the trial as required by law. A postponement request was refused on spurious grounds, so that the defense attorney, who had obligations at 10:00 a.m. in Wiesbaden, at 2:00 p.m. in Bad Homburg and in Frankfurt/Main at 5:00 p.m., was prevented from being in Heilbronn at 1:30 for the trial. No lawyer can be in two places at the same time. That is how the court double-crossed the defense attorney. 5. An appeal was already filed. In a constitutional state, this would lead to a full rehabilitation of Mr. Mannheimer. In a leftist state, no one knows.
We still have hopes for the rule of law and expect that the district court in Heilbronn will evaluate this judicial farce as it deserves and that a proper, legal procedure will take place.
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* Most notorious of the “Nazi judges” in Germany up to 1945.
Readers who would like to donate to Michael Mannheimer’s defense should visit his website, our use the following bank account information to send a transfer to his legal fund:
IBAN: DE83 6739 0000 0004 3330 04
For links to previous articles by or about Michael Mannheimer, see the Michael Mannheimer Archives.