Conference of Ministers of Justice: Situation report on knife attacks – politics
After deadly knife attacks on passengers on a train in Schleswig-Holstein and an attack on two schoolgirls in Berlin, the justice ministers of the federal states want to prosecute knife crimes more effectively. In the future, they are to be collected nationwide in a central entry point so that authorities and public prosecutors can exchange information more quickly. The conference of justice ministers agreed on this in Berlin on Friday. In particular, the residence status of non-German suspects should also be taken into account, said Hamburg’s Green Justice Senator Anna Gallina after the end of the meeting. “We want to gather more data at this point so that we can better deal with the phenomenon of knife attacks.”
For two days, the federal and state justice ministers discussed around 50 legal policy issues in Berlin. A large majority found, for example, the application from Schleswig-Holstein and Hamburg to better network the police, public prosecutors and immigration authorities nationwide in order to prosecute knife offenders more consistently. One of the reasons was an attack on a regional train in Brokstedt in Schleswig-Holstein, in which two people were killed.
Investigation files on sexual abuse should remain available for ten years
According to Hamburg’s Justice Senator Gallina, the authorities’ communication after the crime revealed considerable “uncertainties” and “interpretation difficulties”. The information channels for knife crimes are also confusing between individual federal states. Central recording is now intended to ensure that public prosecutors, but also prisons, receive all relevant information – and convicted criminals could possibly be deported directly from prison. First of all, the Central Criminological Office is to create a nationwide picture of the situation regarding knife crimes.
The justice ministers of the federal states, who formulate demands to the federal government at their meeting but cannot enforce them, also agreed to keep investigation files for sex offenses longer than before. So far, they are deleted after two to five years when the investigations have been terminated. It was “unanimously” decided in Berlin that investigation files on sexual abuse, including in churches, should remain available for ten years, said Bavaria’s Minister of Justice Georg Eisenreich (CSU) on Friday. If it turns out that an accused had previously been investigated for abuse, “conclusions about the credibility of the person” could be drawn. “That’s why our prosecutors have to have access to older files in such serious cases.”
“There is now a really urgent need for action.”
Federal Justice Minister Marco Buschmann (FDP) called on the justice ministers of the federal states to finally get the long-announced reform of tenancy law on the way. One of the plans is to limit rent increases more. Buschmann is holding back a completed bill from his house, also because he cannot agree with Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser on data retention. “We have asked the federal government again to quickly present an overall package,” said Hamburg’s Senator for Justice Gallina. “There is now a really urgent need for action.”
Berlin’s new Senator for Justice, Felor Badenberg (non-party), announced that enemies of the constitution who fight the free-democratic basic order would not be admitted to the legal traineeship. Badenberg was also asked several times about her thoughts on classifying the climate activists of the “last generation” as a criminal organization. The justice senator did not answer her. The topic did not play a role at the conference.
In the Berlin House of Representatives, however, Badenberg’s statements have an aftermath. The Left Party parliamentary group wants to question the senator in parliament. She gives the impression of wanting to review the prosecutor’s decision not to classify the last generation as a criminal organization. In doing so, she is expressing her “distrust” of the public prosecutor’s office and is apparently preparing a political directive, according to the accusation.