German chief prosecutor greenlights more US drone bombings from Ramstein

A team of German MPs will not stop trying to end the bombings directed from German soil


Dr. Alexander S. Neu

The federal prosecutor’s office has announced that it will not investigate members of the federal government over the drone attack in Iraq on January 3, 2020. Bundestag deputies Dr. Alexander S. Neu, Dr. Diether Dehm, Heike Hänsel, Andrej Hunko, Zaklin Nastic, Kathrin Vogler, Andreas Wagner, and Hubertus Zdebel filed criminal charges on February 27, 2020:
“Every year, countless civilians die from US drone attacks that violate international law and can only be carried out via the US base in Ramstein. The Federal Government tolerates and enables this procedure, thereby violating international law and the Basic Law. Just over a year ago, the Higher Administrative Court in Münster sentenced the federal government to actively ensure, and enact upon the US government that Ramstein Air Base is not used for activities that violate international law. Since then, however, the federal government has done nothing. There are still drone attacks in violation of international law, the control commands and probably also the evaluations operated via Ramstein.

For this reason, we filed a criminal complaint against members of the Federal Government on February 27 to denote their responsibility. The occasion was a well-documented and clearly illegal drone attack in Baghdad on January 3, 2020, in which, in addition to military leaders from Iraq and Iran (which brought the world close to a devastating war), uninvolved civilians were once again killed.The Federal Prosecutor’s Office hides behind a legal perspective that is convenient and condensed for them, thereby protecting the responsible members of the Federal Government. It admits that the federal government has a constitutional obligation to prevent activities contrary to international law from German territory. However, the Federal Prosecutor’s Office is not prepared to draw the conclusion – which is mandatory for us as the filing complainant – that the constitutional obligation drawn up by the OVG Münster must also result in a personal responsibility of the departmental members of the Federal Government: It distinguishes between political and personal responsibility . The Federal Prosecutor’s Office is thus essentially issuing a license for acts contrary to international law in political offices. With its refusal to initiate even an investigation, the top investigative authority subordinate to the Department of Justice signals that it will keep right on tolerating the worldwide drone killings based out of Ramstein, which were made possible by the federal government in the first place.

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We must put an end to the drone murders committed from Ramstein. They are violations of international law. We will therefore examine all options to continue to act against the US AirBase Ramstein and thus enforce compliance with international and constitutional law.”

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