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Court rules no automatic dismissal for civil servants with child porn

DPA/The Local · 20 Aug 2010, 12:23

Published: 20 Aug 2010 12:23 GMT+02:00

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A federal court in Leipzig this week deemed owning such items was “off-duty offence” that did not justify the immediate firing of civil servants known in Germany as Beamten. The presiding judges said each case needed to be weighed individually to see if other disciplinary measures would be adequate.

The ruling means a teacher from Hamburg and a customs inspector from Saarland can both hope to continue their careers while retaining their civil servant benefits. Child pornography was found on the computers of both men, who were fined €3,000 and €7,500 respectively, but they sued against their ensuing dismissals.

The court said the punishment of both men was relatively mild considering the possession of child pornography can lead to a two-year jail sentence, but that each case needed to be judged on its specific merits. For example, whether the offence disqualified the teacher from working with children.

“That is a difficult point for some professions,” said the presiding Judge Georg Herbert.

Story continues below…

The final disciplinary measures for the teacher and customs inspector will now be decided by lower regional courts.

DPA/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

13:58 August 20, 2010 by whatzup
This is an unbelievable decision. At the very least these cretins should never be allowed anywhere near children again. "A difficult point" my backside. If ever there were an argument for camps around here its for folks like this.
15:29 August 20, 2010 by RP_Lifer
There is always a reason for why someone does something bad. Even murderers can have a reason that one can understand despite that it was wrong.

Child molesters and people who view pornographic material of children truly have no such understandable reason. The more I dwell on this decision the more violent I become at the thought that someone who is spending couple of hours a day at home viewing child pornography then reports in the morning for work around children and throughout the day commingles thoughts of viewing such material at night with the children in their classroom.

You CANT disassociate the two, if I spend all day looking at naked women on my computer then my mind is going to veer that when I am not at my computer but see a woman walk by.

I am saddened by this decision and am only thankful my children go to a US run school here in Germany. Why parents are not storming their schools are beyond me.

17:06 August 20, 2010 by slawek
My own opinion on this is very simple. The information who is viewing what sexual content should be kept private and protected by the fundamental rights, period. There is simply some information you don't want to know about anyone. And getting into peoples head by the means of internet is simply hysterical. Otherwise, situations like the ones suggested in the comments above unavoidably occur, where people push for vigilante justice.

One should take into account the whole dimension of hypocrisy of our politicians. Instead of hiring more Police to protect playgrounds and ways to schools and kindergartens the government continuously is saving money by systematically making Police jobs redundant. Instead of solid Police work, we are presented with a witch-hunt, that is supposed to convince us, real child molesters are being taken down, which is simply factually not the case.

Sometimes it's really funny to watch, in what sort of silly questions the politicians get themselves into. For example there was a discussion if viewing of porn with actors that only appear or pretend to be underage should be legal. So here the witch-hunt takes a turn against innocent sexual practice called age play. There was also a discussion about virtual charactersl and even cartoons.

This has nothing to do with any real danger anymore, it's simply about enforcing of your own image of moral on other people.

Any commercial pornsite can be taken down very easily in an instant, btw. All you need is the cooperation of companies like VISA, American Express, etc.
19:32 August 20, 2010 by Gretl
slawek - you are naiive. Child porn does not equal commercial porn. Commercial porn is legal, child porn is not. These are groups that have to be infiltrated, as they are not open to anyone who shows up with a credit card.

I have a friend who was discharded from the US Navy after 19 years of service, for looking at child porn. No pension, now a registered sex offender. What was he doing? Looking for photos that were taken of him when he was molested as a child.

Child porn is bad because it requires that a child be raped.

As for my opinion, pedophiles should be executed. That's not a glib answer either, because while I was not molested, I know that my father molested my brother and my step-sisters.
01:09 August 21, 2010 by Prufrock2010
Hell must have frozen over! I actually find myself in agreement with whatzup.
17:56 August 22, 2010 by sorochin
Camps for Thoughtcrime. Orwell would be proud.
20:29 August 22, 2010 by Prufrock2010
Child pornography is not a thought crime. There are actual victims.
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