Overview  [> zur deutschen Version]

A short summary of the complex events in the case of Gustl Mollath (source: Newsbattery – courtesy of the author and the blog owner)

Bavarian justice – a madhouse?

by Hans Woestler
Those were the days, when the Royal Bavarian District Court convened as a cult series in the German TV program ZDF, and always provided a moral to the story for its viewers. Many Bavarian actors acted in the series and created a comically bizarre but very human atmosphere. In January 1972, this TV series was stopped for good. In the meantime, one might think, politics and justice in Bavaria seem to have lost all common sense and degenerated into a madhouse – this is possibly a specifically Bavarian situation, which was also partially depicted in the curious stories of the TV series of the Bavarian Radio. A horrific reality has mutated out of this fiction.
Steve Geshwister: Dr. Leipziger hat recht

In the name of the people ©Steve Geshwister

Six years ago, on August 8th, 2006, the engineer Gustl Mollath was called not before the District Court but before the Upper Criminal Court of the county of Nürnberg-Fürth. He was accused of beating his wife and slitting the tires of various persons who had taken steps against him. The tires of his ex-wife's lover were however not damaged.

In the court proceedings, Mollath had denied carrying out such acts, to the present day. In the court proceedings, no clear evidence was brought forward as proof of the tire slitting. The ex-wife of Gustl Mollath said as a witness that the man seen on a police video might be her ex-husband. There were no further witnesses.

What had Mollath really done?

With great detail, in 2003 he had pressed charges against the HypoVereinsbank and a number of its customers, because for years, he claimed, they had evaded paying taxes on a very large scale, by moving the unreported income to Switzerland [see Charges]. At the same time, he pressed charges against his wife, who was separated from him and working as an employee of the HypoVereinsbank. He claimed that she had repeatedly driven to the AKB Bank in Switzerland, a subsidiary of the HypoVereinsbank, and taken the unreported income there for investment.

Steve Geshwister: Dr. Leipziger hat recht

Legal tactfulness ©Steve Geshwister

The Public Prosecutor of Nurnberg-Fürth, however, refused several times to take up the corresponding investigations. [see Refusal PubPros]. Mollath's ex-wife then pressed charges against him, according to which he reportedly had weapons in his house.

A large number of police searched Mollath's house, but found no weapons. His wife even threatened that, if he did not stop accusing her of working with unreported income, she would have him examined by psychiatrists and found "not sane" [see Affidavit of Edward Braun]. And with the sentence passed on August 8, 2006 the District Court of Nürnberg-Fürth dismissed Mollath's allegations (referring to the illegal earnings transferred to Switzerland) as paranoid ideas and ordered Mollath to be transferred to a psychiatric hospital, since he was considered "dangerous to public safety", as proven by "several criminal acts". The court rested its case upon a psychiatric opinion of the head of the District Hospital of Bayreuth. This professional opinion was drawn up according to previous records, since Mollath refused to have himself examined. The psychiatrist originally charged with the case refused to deal with the case, being himself biased, since he was a neighbor of one of the persons accused of such money transfers. A further psychiatrist, who went to the District Hospital of Bayreuth to hold a lecture, took advantage of the situation to write an opinion on Mollath. Surprisingly, he came to the same conclusions as the head of the hospital.

Steve Geshwister: Dr. Leipziger hat recht

"Yes of course Mollath is mad! After all, he believes in justice!"
©Steve Geshwister

Petitions, charges, ban on speaking

Before August 2006, Mollath submitted petitions and reported the above offenses to politicians, the State Prosecutor and to the office of Public Prosecutor. However, in the ruling of March 1, 2005, the Bavarian Ministry of Justice refused to instruct the Public Prosecutor to follow up on Mollath's charges. A later petition by the Bavarian Parliament was unsuccessful, due to the statement issued by the Ministry of Justice.

What was strange in the main hearing was that nobody verified whether the accusations made by Gustl Mollath with respect to illegal fund transfers were correct or not; and although Mollath's ex-wife was particularly incriminated by her ex-husband, no attempt was made to question her in court. In 2006, Gustl Mollath wrote in a letter: "The presiding judge... of the District Court of Nürnberg-Fürth became furious as soon as I mentioned the money laundering practices of the HypoVereinsbank .… – He forbade me to speak and said that if I was not quiet, he would throw me out of the courtroom". This statement was also confirmed by a lay judge who took part in the court hearing.

In the meantime, there were further psychiatric opinions [by Dr. Simmerl, Dr. Weinberger and Prof. Dieckhöfer], which confirm that Gustl Mollath is "completely normal". Psychiatrists of the hospital in which Mollath is interned, however, say that Mollath cannot be released, stating that he has refused all treatment.


Normal? ("He seems to be quite normal to me" "Yes! But he's only simulating!") ©Steve Geshwister

In the case of such "involuntary treatment" – that is, the inpatient accommodation of Mollath in the psychiatric ward – an examination must be carried out by the local court every year, to ensure that the prerequisites for the inpatient accommodation still apply.

The HypoVereinsbank, on the other hand, took concrete steps, in contrast to the Public Prosecutor. It fired Mollath's ex-wife and other involved bank employees on the basis of the above-mentioned charges [see Media response].

Blond Claims

After the broadcasting of a Program by Report Mainz in December of last year, and the subsequent Reports in the Print Media and Radio, the affair received new momentum. The Bavarian Parliament also dealt with Mollath's case. In the Judiciary Committee meeting the question of why the Public Prosecutor did not investigate on the basis of the money laundering charges put forth by Mollath. The Minister of Justice Dr. Beate Merk (CSU) said everything was fine and that "under the rule of law nobody is interned arbitrarily." Not charges of money laundering but rather "massive use of force against his wife" and endangering "uninvolved third parties" were the factors leading to his forced internment and involuntary commitment, resulting from his delusions [see comments of Prof. Dieckhoefer and Dr. Weinberger].

Steve Geshwister: Vielleicht sollte es ihr mal jemand sagen

Maybe someone should tell her? (Madame Minister, you have a nasty ink-colored pimple on your cheek!)
©Steve Geshwister

The head of the Judiciary Committee, Franz Schindler (SPD), a member of the Judges' Electoral Commission and spokesman for constitutional and law-making issues, believed the assertions made by Justice Minister Dr. Beate Merk (CSU) on this issue and voted against his own faction. The fact that the expert witness and then the judiciary attributed Mollath's reactions to his wife's money-laundering as an indication of his illness was dismissed by the Minister of Justice. This minister also concealed the fact that two expert witnesses providing opinions (one already in 2007one in 2011) resolutely denied that Mollath is delusional or that he is not dangerous to public safety. Both psychiatric experts confirm that Gustl Mollath "is completely normal". The judgment passed by the District Court itself cannot be corrected or verified by the Bavarian Parliament.

Steve Geshwister: Dr. Leipziger hat recht

Klaus the Builder ©Steve Geshwister

But now suddenly, the authorities are carrying out a tax fraud investigation against some of the persons mentioned by Mollath in the original criminal complaint. For the tax fraud authorities, the evidence provided by Mollath are apparently specific enough to be looked into.

In the Bavarian Parliament, the Minister of Justice has now been fiercely attacked by an initiative comprised of the representatives Inge Aures (SPD), Christine Stahl (Green Party) and Florian Streibl (Freie Wähler). The accusation: In the case of Mollath, she did not tell the truth.

Karikatur: Steve Geshwister

Some people never learn (Already understanding much too much
… "Not me!!") ©Steve Geshwister

And according to the Nürnberger Nachrichten of October 31, 2012 the Minister of Justice Dr. Beate Merk (CSU) is accused of calling Mollath's evidence a "conglomeration of documents with no face value", the specific evidence in these documents obviously "seem to have been dropped intentionally". The representatives of the three factions called upon Minister Merk to "speedily ensure the truthful clarification of the Mollath case". "It is hard to believe that such incompetence has prevailed here", state the three representatives. "Minister Merk has nothing better to do than to dismiss the charges against her as obviously motivated by political party interests".

As a result, Michael Kasperowitsch, Editor of the newspaper Nürnberger Nachrichten, stated in his Comment of October 31, 2012: "This case is ... a human tragedy and has displayed an unaccountable inactivity on the part of the Public Prosecutor …"

The human rights commissioner of the Bavarian Medical Board, Dr. med. Maria Fick, has also come forward in the Nürnberger Nachrichten: One gets the impression that someone is supposed to disappear from public view for an indefinite time, she writes, and ascertains that the human dignity of the man from Nurnberg has been "trampled under foot for many years, with detention in forensic departments, together with hardened criminals, primitive and mentally truly ill persons". His life has been more or less destroyed, because "possible complacency audits" are given preference. "Expert opinions of this kind are punishable by our code of medical ethics".

Karikatur: Steve Geshwister

No, no, no! ©Steve Geshwister

The only luck Gustl Mollath has had until now is that a support group has taken up his cause and is helping him in different ways. The members of this support group are, among others, the former head of the Bavarian tax investigation authority, a former judge and a well-known and reputable psychiatrist (holder of the German Federal Cross of Merit). The Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe is also concerned with the Mollath case. Mollath's lawyer is of the opinion that the constitutional right to be heard and the elementary standard of commensurability have been grossly breached in this case.

[Translation (with many thanks): Gloria Lindberg]


Kontakt: Faksimile-Belege (PDF): Sonstiges (PDF):