A convicted people smuggler has avoided a lengthy jail term because a district court judge believed he was working in the interests of the German state’s policies of mass migration.
The Serbian human trafficker, who was part of a gang that charged Syrians and Lebanese up to €10,000 for false papers and passage into Europe received a two year suspended sentence at Passau district court last week. While German law and sentencing guidelines could have seen him put behind bars, the judge decided to show clemency, reports Die Welt am Sonntag.
Explaining that proclamations by the German Chancellor that refugees are welcome had effectively decriminalised human trafficking, the judge told the court: “Given the conditions at the frontiers, the legal system has been suspended by the German politicians, therefore no unconditional prison sentence is given.
“Asylum seekers are invited by the German Chancellor to come to Germany”.
Chancellor Merkel’s “refugees welcome” policy is one of the most divisive questions in German politics today, and has split her cabinet. There was talk of a coup under-way against Mrs. Merkel at the weekend as Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière made an unexpected — and unauthorised — announcement on migration policy.
Speaking in an interview broadcast on Saturday, the minister said the classification of Syrian refugees should be changed to give them less protections and rights, and that the right of family reunification should be curbed. Proposing a change in law to facilitate the reforms he proposed, de Maizière said: “The number of refugees is so high, we can not take even a multiple of family members”.
Mrs. Merkel allies including Germany migration crisis head and chief of staff Peter Altmaier instantly moved to distance the government from de Maizière’s comments, and major papers were briefed that he had made the move without informing the Chancellor.
Thomas de Maizière was not without allies, however, as Bavarian president Horst Seehofer lent him support, while finance minister Wolfgang Schäuble said de Maizière was right to make the remarks as German capacity for taking migrants is not “indefinite”. He said: “I think it’s a necessary decision and I am very sure that we quickly reach agreement about them in the coalition”.
Deputy Green party leader Robert Habeck immediately jumped on the row, calling the disagreement a “Putsch” against the chancellor, an emotive word in Germany given its association with the Nazi party. “Chaos rules in the CDU at the moment”, he said, remarking: “That is a putsch. It needs to be clear who is the cook and who is the waiter”.