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US kills al-Qaeda leader Aiman ​​al-Zawahiri: why is there no criticism?


The US government has secretly murdered a suspected terrorist without trial. Meanwhile, the German government is arguing about the inviolability of the law in the South China Sea. Was what?

Enlarge image

The neighborhood in Kabul where Ayman al-Zawahiri was killed on his balcony.

Photo: ALli Khara / REUTERS


This week one has to write again about the problem of the double zero, i.e. about the incomparably exciting, musical and funny license to kill possible enemies, which the secret agents with a single-digit personnel code in the service of a powerful force for good have distinguished since 1953.

In memory of relaxed hours with refreshments and Mrs. Moneypenny's (Miss ›Petty‹ Pettaval) longing for whatever, we present you with the introduction:

Five facts

Case 1:

On October 12, 1957 in Munich, on the orders of the Chairman of the USSR State Security Committee, KGB agent Bodgdan Nikolayevich Stashinky assassinated a leader of the Ukrainian nationalist organization OUN, Lev Rebet.

On October 15, 1959, again in Munich, Stashinsky assassinated the OUN leader Stepan Bandera on the same order.

At the beginning of August 1961, Mr. Staschinsky fled to West Berlin, was arrested and convicted by the Federal Court of Justice (at that time still first instance!) on October 19, 1962 for the two (insidious) murders (Az. 9 StE 4/62, official collection BGHSt 18, p. 87).

Case 2:

On May 2, 2011, an unnamed soldier of the US armed forces (probably using means dangerous to the public) murdered the leader of the organization "Al Qaeda", Osama bin Laden, in Abbotabad/Pakistan on the orders of the President of the United States of America .

The victim's body was then disposed of over the open sea by other US soldiers.

Mr President of the USA was extremely satisfied with the successful murder.

Case 3:

On August 23, 2019, Russian citizen Vadim Krassikov shot Georgian citizen Chelimkhan Changoshvili, who was considered an “enemy” of Russia and a traitor (so-called “Tiergarten murder”), in Berlin on behalf of the Russian secret service.

The Berlin Court of Appeal sentenced the perpetrator to life imprisonment for murder on December 15, 2021.

more on the subject

Shelling or targeted demolition?: What is known about the attack on prisoners of war - and what is not by Katharina Koerth

Case 4:

On July 30, 2022, possibly previously unknown soldiers of the Russian Federation murdered about 50 Ukrainian prisoners of war in a prison camp in eastern Ukraine on the orders of previously unknown higher authorities.

The perpetrators then alleged, possibly untruthfully, that the act was (deliberately) committed by Ukrainian military personnel to prevent interrogation of the detainees, who had belonged to the far-right »Azov« regiment.

On August 4, 2022, the Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN) said a formal investigation into the incident would be launched.

Case 5:

On August 2, 2022, a previously unknown US Army soldier (insidiously) assassinated the leader of the "Al Qaeda" organization and successor to the former victim Bin Laden, Aiman ​​al-Zawahiri, in Kabul on the orders of the US President.

According to the US secret service, the deed was committed using two non-explosive projectiles, each weighing 45 kg and extendable "blades", which could precisely kill a motorist anywhere on earth without the to injure a passenger (SZ, August 3, 2022).

We now firmly believe that, in silent memory of various Afghan wedding parties and trusting in the increasing ingenuity of »Q«, designer of automatically killing tomatoes.

I beg your pardon?

You ask, dear reader, what is the purpose of the above compilation?

Admittedly, one could have taken other cases.

However, they were not chosen entirely at random and they are all quite interesting - each on its own, but above all in its context.

The "Staschinsky case" of 1962 became famous (rather: notorious) because the Federal Court of Justice further applied the "extremely subjective perpetrator theory" of the Reich Court (RG) (see the famous "bathtub case", RGSt vol. 74, p 84): In order not to have to sentence the defector Staschinsky to life imprisonment, the Federal Court of Justice considered the client to be the »perpetrator«, while the murderer directly responsible was only an »assistant« (§ 27 StGB): Result eight years for two murders .

For the time being, not much can be said about the case of the Ukraine prisoners.

The reports and representations contradict each other.

In a war, all sides lie, whatever the keyboards say.

In general it can be said that if the suspicion were confirmed that Russian soldiers killed captured "enemies" on behalf of higher authorities in order to carry out death "sentences" that did not exist in this way, this would be a serious crime.

Subjunctive, hypothetical!

Cases 2 and 4 (Bin Laden and Al-Sawahiri) are much closer together.

They differ in ambience and performance.

Surely you, reader, remember the little snapshot from the situation room of the White House, with friend Barack on the hot track and friend Hillary in womanly-empathic cheering.

It was very beautiful, and not at all comparable to the self-praise of the commander-in-chief (77), trembling with old age.

For the time being, however, the most important (and above all: concerning us), dear reader, seems to me the communication performance of our respective government.

"I'm glad that Osama bin Laden was killed," the German chancellor once said to world history cameras.

That was, I can't put it any other way, probably a criminal offense under Section 140 Paragraph 1 of the Criminal Code (»advocacy of criminal offences«):

»Anyone who publicly approves of an act (of murder)... in a way that is likely to disturb public peace (...) will be punished with imprisonment for up to three years or a fine.«

The relevant chain of paragraphs leads via Section 140 to Section 126 Paragraph 1 No. 3 StGB.

But it is reliably located there: Anyone who advocates murder is punishable if public peace is endangered (!).

That is, according to the "prevailing opinion" for 60 years, the general feeling in society of the security of legal interests, non-violence, legal certainty.

Let's put it this way: If the article by the legendary »Göttinger Mescalero«, who once expressed »secret joy« about the murder of Federal Public Prosecutor Buback and at the same time was ashamed of it, was an act under Section 140 of the Criminal Code, then it was the »I'm happy me” – statement by the Federal Chancellor (!) aD anyway!

The author has stated this publicly many times since 2011 - but there was no organ of the rule of law to devote a consideration of its own jurisdiction.

But now we have Ms. Annalena Baerbock, Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs.

She travels the world with heavy weapons of words, and whatever the textbooks on foreign policy art might throw at her, melts before the government member's moral emphasis:

"We do not accept international law being broken (...),


the international law expert spoke »to students« in the USA.

Their topic was not the political contract killing, but a somewhat twisted transference of the Ukraine war to the strategic situation in the China Sea.

Hence her sentence continued:

»(...) and a larger neighbor attacks his smaller neighbor in violation of international law – and that also applies to China, of course)

more on the subject

  • International law of war: About omissionA column by Thomas Fischer

  • Family law: »That has nothing to do with justice« A column by Thomas Fischer

  • Afghanistan, Documenta, flood: all of Germany a single investigative committee A column by Thomas Fischer

But if I have understood the Foreign Minister correctly so far, I am assuming that breaking international law, the use of unlawful force and politically motivated murder always and everywhere appear completely unacceptable to her.

In general, the determination of all our members of the government to help the right to victory with all means - be it howitzers, energy saving or the economic crisis - is impressive.

I think that's a commendable attitude, although I'm not a representative of Kohlhaas' fiat iustitia, pereat mundus faction.

But murder is murder is murder, right?

You will probably have to bring that in as a former jury chairman.

Now one would still have to find the way of practical concordance between "I am pleased..." and "We do not accept...".

What now?

For days I have been reading, hearing and seeing the assessments that the leading German media devote to the murder of a suspected criminal allegedly ordered and approved by President Biden.

More cowardice in front of a friend was rare.

If it's a friend and not a boss.

If the latter were the case, however, the current speaking notes of the friends of friends would have to be quickly rewritten.

Most recently we heard (also from the Foreign Minister in the same speech of August 2, 2022 in the »New School«) that the age of »leadership partnership« was now beginning »not only between Germans and Americans, but between Europeans and Americans«. .

We assume that "Americans" meant residents of the United States.

Rhetorically speaking, we don't want to allow ourselves too much new leadership colonialism.

Who and where to lead is not really clear yet, but the goal has been defined: an “international rule-based order”.

Here again we don't really know what it's supposed to mean: there are enough "rules" in existence.

Only they are firstly different and secondly contentious.

So the question is how the leadership partnership would like to introduce the international reality to the desired rules.


A final quote from the Secretary of State for the United States:

“It is good that your country is living up to its responsibility for the international rules-based order.

(...) Freedom, democracy and human rights are under attack.

Therefore we must be steadfast.

And that is what our leadership partnership is all about.«

Oh well.

According to the Human Rights Charter of the UN (Articles 8, 10, 11) and the European Convention on Human Rights (Article 6), human rights include not simply being gunned down or crushed with celestial bodies by people who are acting as prosecutor, judge and executioner in one person and saying that they don't give a damn about what others think of it.

The President of the United States wins elections by publicly hailing the assassination he ordered of suspected criminals against every right as a particularly law-abiding act.

In the new leadership state of Germany, no one can think of even a halfway plausible explanation as to why this could be justified - apart from the breathtaking statement that the US government and "offices" wanted it that way.

Mr. Federal President, master of moral speech and hush-hush about the Guantánamo torture camp, is silent.

Meanwhile, the federal government is feverishly searching for undetected loopholes in order to threaten even the last villain with terrible punishment who undertakes to justify an abstract danger to the good feeling of the clientele.


In the meantime, suspects of a crime may not be killed in Germany.

As far as I can see, they may not be temporarily murdered in the USA either;

nor in Taiwan, China, Russia, Ukraine or Denmark.

However, before the assassination of al-Sawahiri, President Biden is said to have asked a "legal commission": They consulted the rule-based secret assassination order and confirmed the thesis that the USA is still in an ongoing and global "war" that Allow shooting of any suspect identified as a combatant.


Thomas Fisher

to be right

Miscellaneous from the world of criminal law: The best SPIEGEL columns by the ex-federal judge

Publisher: Droemer HC

Number of pages: 304

Miscellaneous from the world of criminal law: The best SPIEGEL columns by the ex-federal judge

Publisher: Droemer HC

Number of pages: 304

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If the Prime Minister of Scotland or the Federal Chancellor of Austria announced that they were very pleased that the specialists they had commissioned had succeeded in murdering suspected enemies of the state in Norway, Saudi Arabia or Morocco, there would (hopefully) be a certain irritation to the partnership the consequence.

And if something like that were to happen in Berlin Tiergarten or Munich, the determination of the German judiciary to get hold of the murderers on the spot and, above all, the people behind them, would certainly be exemplary.

This brings us back to Mr. Staschinsky: The decision of the Federal Court of Justice, Vol. 18, p. 87 from 1962, as well as the »bathtub case« (RGSt, Vol. 74, p. 84) is now considered to be completely wrong: the person directly executing it is up definitely perpetrators.

But so is the one who orders the assassination!

The Federal Court of Justice found this out at the latest in connection with the "wall shooters" cases of the 1990s.

Public approval of murder (§ 140 StGB) is punishable by imprisonment for up to three years.

Deeds from 2011 are therefore statute-barred after five years (§ 78 Para. 3 No. 5 StGB).

It is different with the murder itself. It does not become statute-barred (§ 78 Section 2).

I guess President Putin will now have to be very afraid of falling into the rule-based order's fingers.

However, the murder of a foreigner by a foreigner abroad is at best subject to German moral boasting, but not to the jurisdiction of the German criminal prosecution authorities (see §§ 3 ff. StGB).

Just got lucky, Joe!

Whether murderers and murder supporters are allowed to be members of the community of values ​​is another question, which foreign ministers usually resolve "pragmatically."

So far everything is easy!

But the question remains: are interim executioners who are internationally active at the legal level of German foreign policy outcasts from the legal community, pariahs of communication, unsatisfactory liars and enemies of the law?

Does the new leader at the top of the transatlantic community of rights and values ​​have any opinion on this?

And does the federal government have any idea at the end

Source: spiegel

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