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Extremism: According to the Höcke ruling: legal remedies are being examined

Extremism: According to the Höcke ruling: legal remedies are being examined

The Halle regional court has sentenced AfD politician Björn Höcke to a fine. How does it go from here?

After the Halle regional court handed down a verdict against AfD politician Björn Höcke, the public prosecutor’s office and defense are examining possible legal remedies. Both the public prosecutor’s office and the AfD politician’s defense announced this at the request of the German Press Agency. In this case, the only option is a revision.

It has not yet been decided whether he and his colleagues will appeal, said one of Höcke’s three lawyers, Ralf Hornemann, on Wednesday at the request of the German Press Agency. The Halle public prosecutor’s office also announced on Wednesday that a final decision had not yet been made regarding the appeal.

Tuesday’s verdict

On Tuesday, after four days of negotiations, the regional court considered it proven that Thuringia’s AfD leader Höcke knowingly used a slogan of the NSDAP’s SA (Storm Department) in a speech in Merseburg, Saxony-Anhalt, in May 2021. The presiding judge explained that Höcke wanted to test limits. The court therefore decided that the 52-year-old had to pay 100 daily rates of 130 euros each. Höcke had rejected the allegations against him until the end.

If the prosecution or defense appeal, the case would go to the Federal Court of Justice. However, this would then only check the verdict for violations of the law, explained the spokeswoman for the Halle regional court, Adina Kessler-Jensch. “So no more evidence will be collected or anything like that.” The public prosecutor and defense now have one week from the announcement of the verdict to decide whether to file an appeal.

Then Höcke would have a criminal record

If the verdict against Höcke becomes final, he would be considered a criminal record. As a general rule, you always have a criminal record if you have been legally convicted – no matter how high the punishment is.

This would then also be entered in the Federal Central Register, says Kessler-Jensch. All final criminal convictions by German courts are recorded in this register. It is used to document a person’s previous convictions and to be able to provide information about them in new criminal proceedings.

However, according to the Federal Central Register Act, an entry in the police clearance certificate is only made if the fine exceeds 90 daily rates – provided there are no further entries in the central register. In Höcke’s case, if the judgment becomes final, this would mean an entry in both the Federal Central Register and the certificate of good conduct.

Lawyers announce appeal

Before the verdict was announced on Tuesday, one of Höcke’s lawyers said that the defense would “take the matter to the top” if a penalty was imposed against Höcke. According to the lawyer, the AfD man’s defense wants to go to the European Court of Justice if necessary. The ruling contradicts the concept of freedom of expression.

In its final speech, the public prosecutor’s office demanded a suspended sentence of six months and a fine of 10,000 euros for Höcke.

Source: Stern

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