News
15.03.2017

Der Fall Bernd Keller und Godelia Ruckes. Das Urteil des Berufungsgerichts von Dodecanese, Rhodes

Heute haben die drei Ankläger*innen des Berufungsgerichts von Dodecanese Bernd Keller zu 3.5 Jahren Haft verurteilt. Godelia Ruckes wurde als nicht schuldig erklärt. Erstinstanzlich wurden beide zu 16.5 Jahren Haft verurteilt.

Case of Bernd Keller, Godelia Ruckes,  Appeal Court of Dodecanese, Rhodes
Wednesday 15.03.2017
 
Today the 3 member felony appeal court of Dodecanese convicted Bernd Keller to a sentence of 3.5 years of imprisonment and declared Godelia Ruckes not guilty.
 
Keller and Ruckes were in 2014 charged for the misdemeanor offence of “illegal entry in the country” and for the felony of “illegal transport by a vessel of third country nationals having no right of entrance in the Greek territory, repeatedly and with the purpose of profit”. In the court of first instance both of them were convicted with 16.5 years of prison sentence.
 
The penalty was decreased radically because the court rejected the clauses of repeatedly committed crime and of the incentive of making profit and also decided on the minimum of penalties provided in the simple form of the felony of illegal transport that is 1 year per person (calculated 1+0.5+0.5+0.5+0.5+0.5=3.5 years). The second charge for “illegal entry” was also rejected with an argument that Keller is an EU citizen (!).
 
Kellers and Ruckes lawyer Karavelakis informed me that Keller will be released very soon as he has already been for more than 2.5 years in prison. The confiscated boat and personal belongings will also return to him and the administrative deportation order for Ruckes will be cancelled.
 
The decision is not available today in order to see the exact reasoning of the court.  
 
Two witnesses were examined, the coast guard officer who committed the arrest at the island of Symi Mr. Papakalodoukas and a witness of defense Jamil… who works as interpreter for the police, coast guard and the courts.
 
The lawyer of Keller and Ruckes Mr. Karavelakis claimed that there are no evidence for the purpose of profit making, that the transported persons were Syrian refugees, and therefore Kellers case falls under the “humanitarian exceptance” provided by the law and also that the defendants were not aware of the criminal liability of their act.
 
Claims concerning the inadequate interrogation procedure confirmed by the witness Jamil… (lack of interpreters, identical testimonies of the transported refugees) were not accepted by the court. The most characteristic moment of the trial was the response of the Judge to the claim of coast guard not having appropriate translators and not separating the witnesses, saying that there is not an exceptance as “so is the interrogation, you know”.
 
The claims also for the humanitarian incentives were characteristically rejected by the judge: “don’t start talking about refugees”.
 

Nevertheless, following the prosposal of the State Attorney the court accepted the claims that there was no profit and was not repeadedly committed


Sprache(n): Englisch / English