German Prosecutor: Rule of Law in Berlin ‘No Longer Functional’

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German prosecutor Ralph Knispel has claimed that courts in the German capital are so overburdened, they lack the capacity to carry out litigation against suspects.

In Berlin alone, there are an estimated 8,500 arrest warrants yet to be carried out, according to Knispel who said that the criminal scene in the city is “laughing at the justice system”, German news magazine Focus reports.

Knispel made his claims on a German television programme, adding that lack of resources meant that things like DNA tests could take anywhere from two to three years to be analysed due to a lack of trained staff and resources.

Another problem is the number of judges in Berlin who will be retiring in the coming years. Knispel said that many lawyers fail the requirements to become judges and those who pass them often prefer to work in the private sector and earn more money.

The prosecutor highlighted the recent murder of Christian Democratic Union (CDU) politician Walter Lübcke who was shot to death by a man with alleged neo-Nazi ties, saying the suspect had slipped through the cracks of initial police scrutiny.

German politicians have called for a crackdown on far-right extremism following the murder of Lübcke, with former CDU General-Secretary Peter Tauber calling for the government to strip basic rights of free speech, freedom of the press, and property rights to far-right extremists.

Knispel, however, noted that such a large scale crackdown may not even be possible saying it was like trying to use a glass to stop a waterfall, not just in Berlin but across the entire country.

Another major issue for Berlin police has been the influence of Arab clan criminal gangs who are said to extort and threaten police officers who try and investigate their illegal activities spreading rumours of sexual impropriety with prostitutes and other threats.

Leaked audio from 2017 revealed that at least one instructor in the Berlin police academy was concerned about infiltration by relatives of Arab clans and had concerns over others from migrant backgrounds who acted inappropriately and even threatened other officers.

“These are not colleagues, that’s the enemy. This is the enemy in our ranks and I have never felt such hostility in this class,” he said.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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