Monday, July 07, 2008

Surprise, Surprise

First the denials, then the legalisms. As if it wasn’t obvious, German fantasy-lefty Gregor Gysi was a stool pigeon for commie spooks.

Linksfraktionschef (Left group leader) Gregor Gysi has repeatedly failed, by court Stasi allegations against him in the media. [Television network] ZDF had "sufficient factual evidence," the court ruled.

Hamburg - In the dispute over allegations of Stasi cooperation, left Group chief Gregor Gysi suffered another legal defeat: the Hamburg regional court rejected a request to gag ZDF disclosure of their investigative report, according to a court spokeswoman on Wednesday. Gysi wanted Stasi document Supervisor Marianne Birthler to defend her statement
[of his participation with the Stasi]. Birthler had accused him on "Heute Journal" that as a lawyer in the GDR regime he "knowingly and willingly" reported Robert Havemann, a critic of the regime, to the State Security Service. Gysi denies the allegation.

The court ruled that there is a legitimate public interest in the publication to be able to see Birthler’s statements. Gysi’s privacy rights have to defer to the public interest in this case. "The report is still permissible as investigative journalism," said court spokeswoman. ZDF had carefully researched the facts behind the allegations against Gysi. It would be "sufficient factual evidence, expressed suspicion that the case". Gysi had requested an injunction against ZDF over the release of the report.

The district court ruled in ZDF’s favor. Moreover, the facts were presented to Gysi, and he was given an opportunity to refute them. He was offered an interview but declined. According to a group spokesman, Gysi will dispute the court’s decision. Previously, a court in Mainz rejected Gysi’s request to require that his reply be broadcast.
It needs to be noted that a great Germans take at face value accusations that American suppress dissent, but will rationalize the right to gag journalism at home. Even in a strange, nearly kangaroo-court-like matter of regurgitating harm-done under a government that no longer exists. It might be in poor taste, and that he could potentially be found at fault for the consequences, but to try to say that it’s discussion can be disputed is nearly as chilling.

No comments: