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A second process cannot clarify what the first failed to do

Criticizing court judgments is often difficult.

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A second process cannot clarify what the first failed to do

Criticizing court judgments is often difficult. Criminal proceedings are usually public, but the investigation files are subject to secrecy. Outsiders are therefore missing essential information from the process.

Judges therefore do not like it when they are attacked: "Judgement scolding" is what is being said, and the sarcastic undertone is unmistakable: the criticism can only be insubstantial. In this way, the judiciary sometimes immunizes itself against criticism.

The Federal Court of Justice has now confirmed the verdict in the Walter Lübcke murder case: Stephan E. was rightly convicted of murdering the politician. The judges also held the acquittal of the suspected accomplice, Markus H., accused of aiding and abetting.

The Frankfurt Higher Regional Court wrote an error-free judgment. The family of the murdered complained in a statement that this decision was "very painful and very difficult to cope with".

She had hoped for a new trial in which the question of how exactly Walter Lübcke died could have been clarified. The sons and the widow are convinced that the two men planned and carried out the crime together.

Is there a failure of the judiciary here, as the statement insinuates? After all, the family, which closely followed the process in the private accessory prosecution, had comprehensive access to the files and was very well represented legally. She is also able to assess the procedure from a legal point of view.

But the family does not present any legal criticism. She speaks of the "conviction" that both committed the crime together. The Frankfurt Higher Regional Court could not bring itself to this conviction, although it was clear from the start that the presiding judge, Thomas Sagebiel, was by no means willing to be lenient.

Why a new process could clarify what the first failed to do remains unclear. Stephan E. confessed; Whether he said everything he did and saw is unknown. Markus H. was silent in the process.

The evidence was simply not enough for a conviction, even if complicity seems plausible. However, a court does not decide on the basis of probabilities, but on the basis of facts supported by evidence. In this respect, the BGH ruling is understandable and painful at the same time.

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