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Re: court trial against me - the outcome

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	In absentia was always there, it just wasn't SOP like it is now. BTW,
are you familiar with jury nullification? It was a victim of the last
round of substance prohibition in the 20s and 30s. Essentially, jurors
have the (no longer honored) right to find a defendant 'not guilty' if
they feel that the law he is accused of breaking is BS. See
http://fija.org/ for more details.


mark485anderson@xxxxxx wrote:
> What would have happened if you had not accepted their plea agreement?
> Used to be here in the USA they had to bring u personally to court to
> try and convict you.
> Now they are convicting "in abstencia" for many crimes.
> Because the courts, judges and prosecutors are too incompetent or busy,
> they just convict you whether they give you your rights or not. The
> government does what they can get away with and increasingly this means
> they do not follow their own laws; constitutionaly restraints. Of course
> when you get IDIOTS like G.W. Bush in Office and have an IDIOT populace
> that votes for him, you deserve what you get, :-).
> I thought Europe was better, but I guess not. Here in the U.S., we
> frequently have people in the courts and police who are too stupid to
> hold jobs in the private sector.
> I think you did the right thing by ignoring their invitation. Do
> everything you can to make their jobs more difficult, resist as far as
> you are able.
> On Wed, 14 Nov 2007 15:22:29 +0100, "Mirko Thiesen"
> <Mirko.Thiesen@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> said:
>> Good morning,
>> I've been operating a Tor node (NetWorkXXIII) for quite some years now
>> (although it was down for several months as it was facing repeated DDoS
>> attacks earlier this year).
>> In June the local police informed me about preliminary proceedings
>> against
>> me by asking me (by mail) to "visit" them. The letter mentioned computer
>> fraud (actually it was "Computerbetrug in Tateinheit mit Faelschung
>> beweiserheblicher Daten gemaess Paragrafen 263a, 269, 52 StGB"), but
>> since I
>> hadn't done anything I followed the general advice in such situations:
>> You
>> have the right to remain silent. Use it. So I decided not to go to the
>> police - if you haven't done anything and you don't even have a clue what
>> they are talking about, it usually can only get worse. Apart from that,
>> the
>> day they wanted me to come I was not even in town.
>> In early September I received a penalty order ("Strafbefehl") - from the
>> court. A judge found me guilty of having ordered a gift voucher (value:
>> 51
>> EUR) on amazon.de, providing address details of a living person (but not
>> myself obviously), and using a Web.de email address registered
>> specifically
>> for this purpose. I was sentenced to pay a fine of 500 EUR.
>> Because I hadn't ordered the voucher, I appealed ("form- und
>> fristgerechter
>> Einspruch") to that penalty order, which led - according to German laws -
>> to
>> an actual trial. This trial was held today.
>> While the penalty order listed four witnesses (the person whose address
>> details had been used, a police officer in a cow town near that person's
>> home hometown, a local police officer, and an employee of amazon.de), the
>> summoning ("Ladung") to the actual trial didn't list any witnesses at
>> all. I
>> had been a lay assessor ("Schoeffe") for four years in Germany (but in a
>> different part of the country), so I knew that this usually would be a
>> good
>> sign as the judge(s) during the actual trial wouldn't have much more than
>> the defendant's testimony (and of course the records) to rely on.
>> Well, it turned out to be the exact opposite of what I had expected. They
>> had absolutely no doubts that I was at least somehow guilty. I explained
>> in
>> great detail what Tor is and what it is used for, and the judge asked me:
>> "Is this illegal?" Wow - shouldn't she know?! I replied "No, of course
>> not.
>> Otherwise I wouldn't do it." 
>> The judge and the public prosecutor realized soon that I probably wasn't
>> the
>> originator of the transaction in question. But instead of realizing the
>> faults of the police and the public prosecutor's department (German laws
>> say
>> that they have to investigate *all* aspects of a crime and not just find
>> someone that seems to be somehow guilty at first sight), they tried to
>> construct a case of aiding and abetting ("Beihilfe") - they insisted that
>> I
>> most probably set up my node in  order to help people committing crimes.
>> Or
>> at least I accepted that people would commit crimes using my Tor node. I
>> asked "What about a postal service that delivers i.e. a bomb or a
>> blackmail
>> letter? Do they help people committing crimes as well?" They said that
>> these
>> two things could not be compared as a postal service offers
>> transportation
>> services whereas I offer anonymization services.
>> To make a long story short: The judge as well as the public prosecutor
>> refused to accept that I didn't do anything  criminal, that I didn't and
>> still don't want to help anyone committing a crime (at least not more
>> than
>> i.e. <put a random
>> telco/ISP/postal service here> does), and that they should have
>> investigated
>> the issue further beforehand.
>> They offered me to dismiss the actual court trial according to paragraph
>> 153
>> StPO which is not the same as an acquittal (no "Freispruch") which I
>> eventually accepted. It means, however, that I won't have to pay for the
>> trial. They also repeatedly said that this time I got off with just a
>> slap
>> on the wrist - next time it wouldn't be that cheap.
>> Yeah, and that's it. I am completely disappointed by the way this court
>> trial was held. I don't know if this is how they usually do it here in
>> Southern Germany. When I was a lay assessor, we always treated the
>> defendants with some kind of respect - not only but especially if there
>> was
>> no actual evidence that they had committed a crime. But the public
>> prosecutor as well as the judge both repeatedly showed me their
>> disrespect -
>> because I didn't confess anything, because I was not thankful for their
>> offer, because I still operate this criminal thing they obviously had no
>> clue about.
>> Okay, signing off for now.
>> Bye, K&K,
>> T-Zee
>> -- 
>> |Mirko Thiesen          "We're with you all the way, mostly"|
>> |Mirko.Thiesen@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx    | http://www.kyb.mpg.de/ |
>> |MPI for Biological Cybernetics    | Phone: +49-7071-601-638|
>> |Spemannstr. 38, D-72076 Tuebingen | FAX:   +49-7071-601-616|

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