Stuttgart (dpa / lsw) - For Michael Ballweg's lawyers, it is incomprehensible that the "lateral thinking" initiator has now been in custody for more than half a year. According to the Code of Criminal Procedure, there are strict requirements for the exceptionally possible continuation beyond six months, said lawyer Alexander Christ on Thursday. From the point of view of the lawyers, these were not given.
The investigators only assumed attempted commercial fraud and money laundering, which is a less serious allegation than before, Christ made clear. The judiciary could counteract a possible risk of absconding with conditions. In addition, all questions have been answered, he said. "From our point of view, it is completely inexplicable what the public prosecutor wants to investigate further."
A spokeswoman for the Stuttgart Higher Regional Court, which is responsible for deciding on the question of detention in this case, referred to a deadline for comments to those involved. This only ends on December 30th, but could also be extended at the request of the defenders. After the expiration, a decision will be made promptly.
According to the authorities, a search at the end of June revealed concrete evidence that Ballweg wanted to go abroad. According to information from judicial circles at the time, there was a suspicion of fraud in the amount of around 640,000 euros and money laundering in the amount of around 430,000 euros. The public prosecutor's office is now only assuming an attempted crime. When she completes the investigation was open on Wednesday.
The Higher Regional Court found that there were no victims, said lawyer Christ. This state of affairs could no longer be sufficient "to justify a deprivation of liberty".
He also criticized a magistrate who had broken off a detention review date. Ballweg was not able to finish the presentation, and his tax advisor waited in vain outside the door as a witness. From their point of view, the arrest warrant was therefore not legally effective.
On the other hand, the legal team wants to exhaust all legal means up to the European level, Christ announced - that is, as a final step, a complaint before the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. A spokesman for the Stuttgart district court admitted that the appointment was canceled after several hours. It is up to the judge to decide that. There is currently a valid arrest warrant from the Higher Regional Court.
The “lateral thinking” movement had formed in many German cities from Stuttgart in the course of the corona pandemic. The supporters repeatedly demonstrated publicly against the political measures to contain the virus. There were also attacks on police officers and media representatives. The Office for the Protection of the Constitution monitors the scene for anti-constitutional views, conspiracy ideologies and anti-Semitic tendencies.