(new: reactions from the accused and the SPD.)
KARLSRUHE (dpa-AFX) – The Federal Court of Justice sees no allegation of bribery against a Bavarian member of the national parliament and a former member of the Bundestag in the mask scandal. Complaints from the Munich prosecutor’s office against three decisions of the criminal divisions of the Munich Higher Regional Court have been rejected, the court in Karlsruhe reported on Tuesday. It is no longer permissible to challenge the decision any longer.
In the first phase of the crown pandemic, longtime CSU MPs Alfred Sauter and Georg Nlein brokered the purchase of masks by the federal and Bavarian governments – and received generous commissions for it. According to BGH, GmbH, whose managing director is Nlein, received 660,000. euro. The company that Sauter has a significant influence on even received more than 1.2 million euros.
The money has been temporarily confiscated, but victims can now recycle it. The arrest warrant for the business partner of both politicians was also lifted some time ago. After BGH’s decision, Nlein re-emphasized his innocence. “The decision, made by independent judges, confirms that the corruption allegations against me were unfounded,” his lawyer said.
It is not reprehensible to organize inexpensive masks when needed, said the former Bundestag MP. The state saved at least nine million euros in taxes. The representative of the defense attorney of the entrepreneur dealing with the mask business explained that it became clear in the BGH decision that “there is no legal basis for conducting an investigation on the public scene”. The public prosecutor’s office in Munich is alone in its legal opinion.
The Munich Higher Regional Court has also ruled before the Federal Court of Justice that the charge does not constitute bribery. To that end, parliamentarians would have to act themselves, according to BGH. “The mere agreement between those involved that the principal relies on his status in the case of extra-parliamentary activities in order to influence official decisions in the interest of a private entrepreneur, does not fulfill this characteristic,” stated BGH.
The Higher Regional Court already explained in its decisions from last November that bribery and corruption under the applicable law do not exist. According to the court at the time, the crime of corruption and bribery of elected representatives implies that “a member of parliament is granted or promised an advantage in return for acting in the performance of his mandate”. “On the other hand, in accordance with the express will of the legislator, the holder of the mandate does not risk being prosecuted by accepting unjustified financial benefits if – as was the case here – he only uses the authority of his mandate or his contacts to obtain decisions from non-parliamentary bodies, for example the government. and ministries, for influence ”.
The Munich judges did not hide their dissatisfaction with the legal situation itself: The fact that even “abuse of the commercialization of the mandate by using a state of emergency in a country of unprecedented scope” remains unpunished in the current legal situation seems unjustified and is in clear contradiction to the general principle of Sense justice, such an argument.
CSU Secretary General Martin Huber told “Augsburger Allgemeine”: “An acquittal does not compensate for moral guilt.” As a Member of Parliament, you should not “not get rich in a major crisis such as the corona crisis”. Bavarian Greens politician Florian Siekmann said: “The legal situation is in stark contrast to the people’s sense of justice. Germany needs strict anti-corruption laws to stop earning money with the mandate. ” The vice-chairman of the Bavarian national parliament, Markus Rinderspacher, said something similar: “CSU politicians Sauter and Nlein used their mandate to ruthlessly cash in on public opinion during the crisis. It is and remains reprehensible, said the SPD politician.
Nlein, who once represented the CSU in the Bundestag, left the CSU as a result of the scandal, and Sauter, a member of the national parliament, left the parliamentary group. Sauter also resigned from all party offices, in particular from positions in the CSU board and presidency and the CSU district presidency in Gnzburg.
Political processing of orders for masks continues. A commission of inquiry is working on this in Bavaria. Sauter and Nlein have yet to comment on the committee. There is no committee of inquiry in the Bundestag.
Former Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU) sharply criticized the actions of individual MPs in the Bavarian commission of inquiry last Friday – but without mentioning any names. 99.9 percent of politicians would give advice on buying masks out of patriotic understanding. However, a few people he knew personally may have acted out of selfishness. This annoys him “just malos”, which is also “human disappointment”. “I just find it lame that people get richer in times of crisis.” / Dm / DP / men