German Chancellor Angela Merkel reacted to news that Osama bin Laden had been killed the most Americans did: She said she was glad about it. Now a German judge wants her to answer for that comment in a court of law.
In his two-page document, Uthmann, a judge for 21 years, cites section 140 of the German Criminal Code, which forbids the “rewarding and approving” of crimes. In this case, Merkel endorsed a “homicide,” Uthmann claimed. The violation is punishable by up to three years’ imprisonment or a fine.
“For the daughter of a Christian pastor, the comment is astonishing and at odds with the values of human dignity, charity and the rule of law,” Uthmann told the newspaper.
Apparently the Germans have learned nothing from the dangers of politicizing the law and prosecuting thoughtcrimes, even though both have been a dark part of the country’s darkest history. And it’s ironic and yet appropriate somehow that this judge presides in Hamburg. That city was the home base for many of the 9-11 terrorists. The Hamburg cell, which included 9-11 hijacking leader Mohammad Atta, operated right under the noses of German authorities for years. Merkel may have been recounting that in expressing her relief that OBL had died from sudden lead poisoning.