Police in Baden-Württemberg have struck a new blow against old suspects. The public prosecutor’s office wants to investigate who put the archive of the website, which was banned in 2017, online.
Freiburg police on Wednesday carried out house searches at the homes of five people suspected of continuing to run Indymedia Linksunten. The website, popular with leftists, was banned by then-Federal Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière (CDU) on August 25, 2017. The occasion was the G20 summit in Hamburg that same year. According to the minister, the internet platform played a significant role in the militant protests in the city.
After the banning order, the website was no longer accessible. However, unknown persons put an archive of Linksunten online three years later. With the new raids, the public prosecutor’s office wants to determine who is responsible for this upload. The archive, which is also mirrored on other websites, is not open-posting, meaning that no new contributions can be made. However, all articles up to the ban in 2017 can be accessed.
In its search warrant against the four men and one woman aged between 32 and 47 suspected of being operators already in 2017, the public prosecutor’s office refers to a recent decision of the Higher Regional Court (OLG) in Stuttgart, according to information from “nd”.
Contrary to expectations, the judges had decided in June to admit an indictment against an editor of the Freiburg-based Radio Dreyeckland for trial. He had reported in an article a year ago on the discontinuation of the preliminary proceedings for “formation of a criminal organization” against the alleged operators of Linksunten and had linked to the archive in it. Thus he had supported a forbidden organization, so the responsible public prosecutor Manuel Graulich.
The Regional Court had initially not wanted to accept a charge in this regard and even ordered compensation for the searched. A no longer existing association could also not be supported, the judges ruled. However, following an appeal by the public prosecutor’s office, the editor must now go to court. The OLG argued, however, that in view of the online archive, it was “predominantly likely” that Linksunten still existed, and that the platform could therefore also be supported in a prohibited manner.
The grounds for the ban against the five alleged operators of Linksunten were issued in 2017 under association law. The same individuals eventually filed a lawsuit against the shutdown of the website before the Federal Administrative Court in Leipzig. The court rejected this action in March on formal grounds: because the five suspects had denied belonging to the association constructed by de Maiziére. Therefore, they were not entitled to sue, according to the judges. It thus remains unclear whether the ban was legally justified at all.
Published in German in „nd“.
Image: Solidarity demonstration against the raids in 2017.