Torture and false confessions in Iceland: German government must assume responsibility!

Verfasst am . Veröffentlicht in Pressemitteilungen

karl schütz island 1977 nationalarchiv"The German Criminal Police Office (BKA) must face up to its responsibility for the biggest judicial scandal in Iceland. Under the leadership of a German Commissioner and using forensic laboratories in Wiesbaden, six people were presented as alleged murderers and then imprisoned innocently for many years. The German government must no longer wait and must offer the Icelandic government help in investigating its complicity," demands Andrej Hunko, spokesman for European Affairs for the left-wing parliamentary group in the Bundestag, after receiving a statement from the Federal Ministry of the Interior.

In 1977, six Icelandic citizens were sentenced to long prison terms for two murders or complicity. The investigations were led by the former BKA commissioner and head of the "Bonn Security Group", Karl Schütz. Last year, the convicts were finally acquitted and rehabilitated. Their blackmailed confessions proved more than 40 years later to be false.

Andrei Hunko continued:

"The Government confirms the intensive assistance of the BKA to the convictions. Horst Herold, then President of the BKA, and Siegfried Fröhlich, Secretary of State, played a key role. All participating German police officers and members of the Ministry of the Interior were awarded the highest Icelandic medals after the convictions. I appeal to the still living officers and the families of the deceased to return these awards.

The British BBC calls the case one of the most shocking judicial failures that Europe has ever seen. According to Icelandic forensic expert Gísli Guðjónsson, it was the BKA interrogation methods that led to the false confessions. The suspects were given hypnotic drugs, according to reports they were coerced and waterboarded. Three of them had to endure more than 600 days in isolation. 

Germany must therefore compensate the vitctims and their relatives for the torture and false convictions. This also applies to the two cases in which those affected have now died."

Download of the reply to our interpellation „Support of the Federal Criminal Police Office in case of false confessions in Icelandic murder investigations“ (German): https://www.andrej-hunko.de/start/download/dokumente/1349-unterstuetzung-des-bundeskriminalamtes-bei-falschen-gestaendnissen-in-islaendischen-mordermittlungen 

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