Back to the middle ages?

If it serves life, a little torture could provide better victim protection

Until now, embarrassing interrogations of suspects were rather embarrassing to punishable for the interrogators. This could now be fundamentally different. The kidnapping case "Jakob von Metzler" revives in the meantime a never completely silenced discussion whether torture in critical danger situations could be an appropriate means to make the obdurate talk. "It is possible to imagine cases in which torture or the threat of torture may be permissible, namely if a legal good is violated in order to save a higher legal good", said the chairman of the judges’ association Geert Mackenroth to the "Tagesspiegel". The prevention of the terrorist attacks of 11.9.In 2001, he cited the following as an example of such higher legal standards.

Frankfurt’s deputy police chief Wolfgang Daschner is said to have ordered that the suspected perpetrator Magnus G. when asked about the whereabouts of the kidnapped boy, that he would be hurt if he did not make a statement. Specifically, the chief detective in charge was allegedly supposed to inform the suspect: "If you do not talk now, we will inflict severe pain on you…as you have never had any, which you will never forget in your life." The Berliner "Tagesspiegel" According to Daschner, there is a note that Magnus G. "after previous threat, under medical supervision, by inflicting pain (no injuries) is to be questioned again". According to defense lawyer Ulrich Endres, his client was also put under prere with the threat of rape by fellow prisoners. He would be forced to "two coarse Negroes" Locked in the cell. The meanwhile successfully graduated law student is said to have communicated the whereabouts of the dead boy after these threats, after he could not remember so well at first.

What could now be seen as an egregious misconduct by the police, as a slap in the face of an investigative process based on the rule of law, was considered justifiable by the deputy chairman of the Association of German Criminal Investigators, Holger Bernsee, for example, because at that point it was amed that the boy’s life could still be saved. The public prosecutor’s office is now investigating the argument whether it is a permissible taking or not. a supra-legal state of emergency or simply a punishable statement-explosion. A state of emergency could be affirmed if the life of a person is endangered and the use of force is the last means to save him or her. Even the chairman of the German Association of Judges, Geert Mackenroth, considers torture to be a means worth considering in view of the danger of terrorism, if the higher legal interest is protected when weighing up two legal interests.

"Physical integrity versus life" Then there is the legal balancing act, which could easily become a ticklish parrot swing for the delinquent. But we do not want to anticipate.

Better at home than abroad?

The arsenal of embarrassing interrogations has been considerably modernized and made more effective since the times of the witch hammer. Should the "territio", If the late modern Inquisition officer was not able to show the instruments, one could start with truth serum or light electric shocks. Since the Milgram experiment, we know that the majority of the population can tolerate the screams of the tortured relatively easily. Ultimately, it is the delinquent’s ability to resist that determines how far one has to go to lead blind Justice to the light of day.

Back to the Middle Ages?

If the German police do not have enough specialists at present, auxiliary officers from various Arab, African or Asian countries were certainly ready to make their rich experience available here. Of course, in strict compliance with the principles of the rule of law, so that the Federal Republic of Germany would not be the hit(!)-list of amnesty international on the upwardly open horror-judge-scale: Only so much torture thus, as is indispensable, in order to loosen a pregnant tongue and to save lives.

It is no coincidence that this discussion, which was inconsequential in the context of the RAF’s fight against terrorism, is now being reopened. In America, after the constitutionally obstructed 11. September 2001 also considered the embarrassing interrogation of suspected terrorists, moreover, the CIA had already gained some in-depth experience in this delicate field in earlier years. Allegedly, in more recent times, it was preferred to send lazy suspects to countries that were less or less expensive. have more cuffs to squeeze out the truth (With a little help from my friends ….). But such transit procedures are costly and when the right trend of the rule of law will prevail in the liberal West, interrogations on the spot will be much less expensive.

The terrorists resemble the witches of the Middle Ages

The question now is how to reconcile the ordeal, which we probably adopted too hastily after the victory of the Enlightenment, with the presumption of innocence and the system of custodial sentences and fines. An amendment of the Code of Criminal Procedure (StPO), in particular of § 136 a StPO, as well as § 343 StGB (Aussageerpreng), were a first legislative step. At the same time, it would also be necessary to code which strict interrogation methods are permissible for which legal assets. The godly to glowing mabstabe of the witches’ hammer were certainly to be reconsidered in some points, so that the delinquent does not suffer more than seems absolutely necessary for the protection of foreign legal good.

Admittedly, this does not answer some questions for a long time. At least some could be ready to admit that he is a witch if the bamboo tips under the fingernails burn too much – or at least the idea of it. Some witches, as is well known, only became one in the iron maiden, only to be burned. The difference between witches and terror suspects is not too high these days anyway. The fundamental dilemma of this dashing method remains that it unfortunately does not answer the question whether the good deception is in fact clear and the suspect is a perpetrator.

The Motassadeq trial might have turned out more satisfactory if one had not had to deal with the problem of absent witnesses and interrogation protocols withheld by the federal government, but had immediately conjured up a veritable confession from the red file at the start of the trial. It seems that the crusading morality of the U.S. president is now well understood here at home in its far-reaching consequences for questions of internal security. Preventive strikes also go well with preventive stretch beds. The rule of law will have to stretch itself a bit to preserve itself in this courageous way. However, once the historical method of shaping has been re-established and we have freed ourselves from civilizational prejudices, many interesting extensions of this offensive style of discourse could be "thought" are.

Even the hitherto unproductive investigative committees of the Bundestag, for example, could get their hands on resources here that make any blackout improbable. Even the silence about the Swiss numbered account could not overcome the threat of the next thumbscrew. Welcome to the Middle Ages.