4th April, 2023

Day 8 – Lawyer Antonia Von Der Behrens on the witness stand

At today’s hearing, the proceedings continued with the examination and cross-examination of German lawyer Antonia Von Der Behrens. Mrs Behrens discussed the procedure for authorizing and withdrawing criminal prosecutions followed by the Federal Ministry of Justice and the formality control of the German court.

In the course of her testimony she explained that the Ministry’s decision does not need to be reasoned and is only checked as to its typical validity, but not as to its content. The enormous discretion of the German Ministry allows for the non-examination of the existence of an actual criminal offense under the Criminal Code, which makes the prosecution political.

It is therefore clearly demonstrated that the prosecution of Kenan Ayas was clearly initiated by a decision of the German executive and not the judiciary. As a result, the German court failed to check the compliance with basic human rights. This constitutes a violation of the principle of separation of authorities, since the court, the guardian of the guarantees of a fair trial and human rights, is transformed ‘from the mouth of the law’ to the ‘mouthpiece of the government’.

Mrs Behrens’ testimony clearly demonstrated the political nature of the prosecution of the Kurdish Kenan Ayas.