A German journalist was caught trafficking migrants across the border from Bosnia to Croatia. It seems the enterprising member of the Fourth Estate contrived to enable the border crossing in order to create a heart-rending story that he could write up for his newspaper.
Many thanks to Hellequin GB for translating this article from the Austrian tabloid eXXpress:
Employee of the left-wing Tagesspiegel arrested as a human trafficker
It is reminiscent of the “Relotius” case. The German blogger and journalist of the left-wing Berlin portal Tagesspiegel Sebastian Leber (44) was arrested on the border between Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina — he was accompanied by a group of migrants whom he allegedly wanted to bring illegally across the border to write an article later about their harrowing trip.
Leber had crossed the border illegally with seven migrants. The attempt to create his own “maudlin” story was stopped by the Croatian border police.
The German blogger and journalist of the “Tagesspiegel” Sebastian Leber was arrested in Croatia because he wanted to smuggle migrants illegally across the EU’s external border and make a story out of it.
— Jonas (@realjonaswd) November 21, 2021
Smuggling charges dropped — appeal
The incident occurred on Friday in the municipality of Cetingrad near the border with Bosnia-Herzegovina. The Karlovac City Court sentenced the journalist to a fine of 3,600 kuna (€500) for illegally crossing the border. The court dropped the charge of smuggling brought by the border police. The border police announced an appeal against the first instance judgment.
UPDATE: Statement from the editor-in-chief
Update: Late in the afternoon, the editor-in-chief of the Tagesspiegel, Lorenz Maroldt, spoke up: Leber went to the border as a reporter, the comparisons with Relotius were “absurd”. In addition (as can be seen in the eXXpress article, editor’s note) the charge of smuggling was dropped.