22 November 2011

Day 58 - 21.11.11: More bizarre reasons for keeping the accused in remand

This happened after the lawyers of the 3 under-age accused explained why their clients must be released - after having been imprisoned for 18 months and 58 days of court.
Today, the judge found a new reason why the defendants – who have now been remanded for one and a half years – still can't be released on bail. Previously, he had claimed that there was flight risk, despite the fact that none of the accused had shown any desire to be in war-torn Somalia at the moment. Then he used the fact that some people had organized solidarity events for the accused against them, claiming that these people would aid their escape. Now he's on to something new:
the defendants don't have residency in Germany – and they can't possibly be released into an illegal status!
So, first they are brought here against their will and locked up. Then the fact that they don't have any social relations in Hamburg is a reason why they have to be isolated further. And now the fact that they are here is reason enough why they can't be released. In its Kafkaesque argument, the court says that, if they were released, they would be here illegally. Therefore they would have to be deported. But that would mean they would abscond, so therefore they can't be released. The fact that the three under-age defendants would in all likelihood receive a temporary permit (“Duldung”) is only a minor factor here.  

So what is the legal status of the 10 accused? Are they being held illegally? A prison cell is not an extra-territorial place - so surely if they live on German soil, that must mean that they have some sort of residency status.