German court: Magazine raid violated press rights

February 27, 2007 14:48


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Germany's highest court ruled Tuesday that authorities violated press freedom in ordering a raid on the offices of a magazine that cited classified information in an article about the late leader of al-Qaida in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. The offices of the monthly Cicero were searched on September 12, 2005 as investigators attempted to pinpoint the source of a leak of confidential papers from Germany's Federal Crime Office on the financing of Islamic extremists. Cicero's chief editor, Wolfram Weimer, complained to the Federal Constitutional Court, which ruled Tuesday that the raid was an "unjustified intrusion on the press freedom of the plaintiff." The court ruled that, to justify such a raid, "specific actual indications of an intended publication of secrets by a bearer of secrets" would be required, and there was no such indication in the Cicero case.

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