• Germany's news in English

Merkel reevaluates 'joy' over bin Laden killing

The Local · 7 May 2011, 10:37

Published: 07 May 2011 10:37 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Christian political colleagues, Muslim groups and a majority of Germans asked in a poll have said it was inappropriate to express joy at the extra-judicial killing of the al-Qaida leader over the weekend.

Merkel initially said in a statement on Monday, “I am pleased that it was possible to kill Bin Laden.”

But on Saturday she told the Passauer Neue Presse, “Bin Laden was the head of an international terror network which commissioned monstrous crimes. We can, and may, be relieved that her can no longer harm people.”

She said that not only the Central Council of Muslims in Germany, but also much of the Muslim world had expressed their relief that Bin Laden could no longer commission any more acts of terror.

“Bin Laden had abused Islam,” she said. “His hate-filled acts against innocents had nothing to do with religion; they were more a mockery of all religions.”

But a Hamburg judge said on Saturday he was officially citing the chancellor for public sanction of a criminal act, which is in itself a crime.

Heinz Uthmann told Der Spiegel he was appalled by Merkel’s initial statement about being happy that bin Laden had been killed.

“I have heard many lies, but that is something that as a taxpayer I do not have to accept,” he said.

Someone found guilty of publicly sanctioning a crime can face up to three years in prison or a fine, the magazine wrote.

Uthmann has submitted a two-page citation against Merkel to the Hamburg state prosecutor. His argument is that Bin Laden’s killing was a crime, that the American soldiers did not have legal authority to kill him.

“The cock-and-bull story that the aim was to carry out the international arrest warrant, not to kill him is deceptive because soldiers from the USA were not authorised by international or Pakistani law to carry out arrests in Abbattabad,” he said.

“It is simply not appropriate to publicly celebrate the death of a political enemy,” he added.

Merkel’s comment was, “amazing for the daughter of a Christian minister, and devoid of all values such as human dignity, compassion or respect for the law.”

Uthmann is realistic about the chances of his citation being taken further.

Story continues below…

“No German state prosecutor will have the courage to charge Mrs Merkel on this,” he said, admitting he expected his citation to end up ignored. “The Hamburg authorities will forward it to Berlin and there it will lie for a while before it ends up in the bin.”

But he said he wanted to make a point. “I wanted to express my outrage and shock at this undignified and poor-taste behaviour.”


The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

11:45 May 7, 2011 by anonymous 7
What is the world coming to? Criticising someone for the approval of a death of the leader of a worldwide terroist organisation? And his argument is that Bin Laden's death wasn't legal suggesting somehow that he was stripped of his rights?! WHERE THE HELL WERE THE RIGHTS OF THE 3000 PEOPLE HE INCINERATED IN 9/11 YOU COMPLETE AND UTTER JOKE! IT IS A COMPLETE PRAISE THAT BIN LADEN IS DEAD. HE IS THE EPITOME OF THE DEVIL. THANKS BE TO GOD THAT HE IS GONE.
12:03 May 7, 2011 by tallady
No surprise Angie ,just another of your infamous "flip flops"
12:12 May 7, 2011 by pepsionice
I believe the only answer here...is for Germany to have a bin Laden award, and each year evaluate some Bundestag guy or gal....giving them the award at some big ceremony in Berlin....with fancy dancers, some Catholic bishop in attendance, and offer a silent moment at the end for the eleven Germans who died in the Towers on 9/11.

This intellectual game played out in Germany....is comical at times. The intellectuals were upset when Germans won the world cup and waved flags. One should never get excited over anything in Germany. Just try to act real calm and relaxed....clapping would be appropriate....with a slight smile.
12:32 May 7, 2011 by J-Dub
Once Germany gets their fair share of terrorist attacks from Al-Qaeda, killing many of their people without any reason whatsoever, we will see if the whiney Germans still feel the same way. These terrorists have promoted and executed nothing but death and destruction around the world. Germany's involvement in the war on terror is near NOTHING. As far as troop involvement in actually finding these terrorists, Germany DOES NOTHING. Their troops in Afghanistan practically do nothing other than small support. Poland, South Korea, and Slovakia all have a more active role in capturing terrorists in Afghanistan than Germany does. Face it, the Germans hate the war, but if it was 3,000 of their innocent people killed by these animals would they continue to sit back and let it happen or strike back hard like any other country would?
12:50 May 7, 2011 by euskept
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
13:01 May 7, 2011 by catjones
It's hardly news that stupid makes the news and that the local presents it for your reviews.
13:02 May 7, 2011 by toemag
Killjoy has a whole new meaning these days.

He was living in an allied country, and as such he should have been treated as any other criminal, extradition. If that was a no go and a snatch was warranted then go that way, but the killing of an unarmed person in his own home in an allied country is not the way forward for any super power, in the past their was the Executive Order 12333 that would have prohibited such an action. He should have been arrested and given his day in court, on 3,000+ counts of murder and terrorism charges then sentenced....

No I'm not a libtard. I have trouble coming to terms with a world that is so PC in so many ways, but is prepared to carry out, accept and applaud such actions.
13:13 May 7, 2011 by euskept
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
14:16 May 7, 2011 by XFYRCHIEF
And I will ask the obvious - had the US sent a team to assassinate Hitler in 1939 - knowing what we now now - would anyone have argued that he should have been spared? Please, save the posturing to try to look like yo are more "democratic" or have a greater sense of "justice." Merkel's first impression is the same that almost everyone had - "I'm glad OBL is dead", but now I must be PC and change my opinion - what a coward! So, if Germany really believes this was an illegal act, the present charges against our President at the World Court; if you truly believe, then have the guts to stand up for what you believe. Don't hide behind the curtain of political convenience - "what the US did as against international law, but let some other country do something."
14:23 May 7, 2011 by n230099
"But a Hamburg judge said on Saturday he was officially citing the chancellor for public sanction of a criminal act, which is in itself a crime."


It's too bad that, being in Germany Angela couldn't tell the so called "judge" to go DIAF. So I will do it for her...Hey Hamburg Judge...go DIAF.
14:25 May 7, 2011 by FredFinger
Isn't free speech wonderful? It permits a fool like Heinz Uthmann to make an ass of himself.

The SEALS should have taken Uthmann with them and pushed him out of the helicopter first so he could find Bin Laden and pin his precious "international arrest warrant" to him before SEALS came to save Herr Uthmann's worthless neck.
14:36 May 7, 2011 by Chicago1996
Ignore the guy. He just wants his 15 minutes of fame. You have a few of those in every country ( including the US). He will change his mind eventually when the ticking time bomb Pierre Vogel starts flexing his muscle in his own backyard.
14:49 May 7, 2011 by XFYRCHIEF
DIAF? Dashanzi International Art Festival (Beijing, China) - huh????
16:03 May 7, 2011 by Sooney
Hats off to Angela Merkel for trying to protect your country from further terrorist attacks - its ashame that she does not get support from the very same people she is trying to protect - she gets it - I bet it is very hard for her to work with folks like that - she understands what the consequences will be not if but when Germany gets on the radar - as you know - trying to appease people especially terrorist will not work because they do not respect any human life - but they want to be respected for how they act - tsk - tsk - no wonder Germany is viewed in the dark ages...
16:45 May 7, 2011 by TheCrownPrince
@XFYRCHIEF: "So, if Germany really believes this was an illegal act, the present charges against our President at the World Court; if you truly believe, then have the guts to stand up for what you believe."

An interesting thought; alas, there is no such thing like a "World Court". What one could do perhaps (if one wished to do so) is press charges against President Obama at the International Criminal Court in The Hague because of extra-judicial homicide of an unarmed man, who had - under ruling international law - no acknowledged status as member of a war-party. But this would not work either, because the USA to this day have not signed the necessary treaties. Not without reason, one could think. In international law there are only equals (the nations), but no judges. A flaw, unfortunately. To fill this gap, there is the UN security council, but I think, the US-representative would not be very pleased with any charges brought up there... in fact, the security council is a joke.

I give my resume: Everybody in the west is relieved OBL is dead, but the circumstances are "unfortunate". Once more they show us that on the international stage - when the chips are down - US-policy acts under the motto: might is right. Of course they are the "good ones", but is the police excused from the law it serves to protect?
17:22 May 7, 2011 by ROCKYF
And this guy is a German judge??? What a joke , you Germans have it rough if you have judges talking this kind of bull@hit ..... get a grip you idiot ... i'll bet you wouldn't be talking this way if it had been 3000 germans that died on 911
18:03 May 7, 2011 by jmclewis
Angie leadership requires having a belief and sticking to it........ If you were the pope people would be praying to mecca four times a day....... and watching Scientology dvd's.
18:37 May 7, 2011 by Sooney
One more thing - I guess Uthmann forgot that the very same terrorist group he is trying so hard to provide rights to were part of OBL group right out of Hamburg - his own back yard wonder if he was so public about his defense of the deaths of those Americans - you know human rights and all - maybe he needs attention - you know maybe make Hamburg famous again - you have got to be joking right - I did have a big laugh about you at your expense and it looks like quite a few folks did also and I do agree with @jmclewis that AM leadership should stick to the brief - terrorist have no friends except themselves - 10 years ago Hamburg, last week Dusseldorf - go figure - I am just saying - human rights and all....
21:59 May 7, 2011 by Landmine
I think the Germans (with the exception of Merkel) are afraid of the Muslims...
22:30 May 7, 2011 by melbournite
" Benjamin Ferencz, an international law specialist who served as a prosecutor during the Nuremburg trials and argued that it would have been better to capture Bin Laden and send him to court.

"Killing a captive who poses no immediate threat is a crime under military law as well as all other law," he told the BBC World Service. "
23:09 May 7, 2011 by Landmine
ya, he is also what? 90 years old?
00:55 May 8, 2011 by elitemarine206
Germans need to quit being so freaking soft. Geez.
02:31 May 8, 2011 by tercel
I thought Mrs. Merkel was a other Margret Thatcher, unfortunately she is a poor imitation of Pee Wee Herman.

New information on the attack on OBL and new video now show a loaded AK47 against a wall in the bedroom and a loaded Russian automatic on the top of a dresser (it appears Benjamin Ferencz spoke without having ALL the evidence, Oldhimers you get that when your over 90). It now appears that OBL pushed or had one of his wives rush a SEAL while he made a move to get one of the weapons. In the US you may be unarmed BUT if you are in the process of attempting to get a weapon you get shot - dead.

I know in liberal socialist progressive Europe you (the police) must first be shot, bleeding and near death before you can return fire or you are accused of using excessive force. Thank god (if there is one) that I live in the US and do not suffer from an acute case of eyerectumitis. That's where your head is shoved so far up your butt all you see is s#it as all liberal socialist progressives in Europe do.
02:36 May 8, 2011 by Beachrider
If OBL was ever put on trial in a western court, it would have made the OJ Simpson murder trial look like cookie-cutter Justice.

Notwithstanding any derogatory comments about applying battlefield metaphors to the Afghanistan/Pakistan situation, by military standards, this was a way to decapitate leadership in a primary adversary.

It was probably done to put the anger behind the USA+PAK for this clearly difficult situation for USA generally and the Pakistani military.

100 airplanes overflew this location nearly every day for five years. The military probably overflew this camp every day. The military cadets must have exercised past this location a few times every month. The USA was clearly peeved about that. We did not believe that we would ever get OBL on an extradition warrant, given the queerness of the situation.

The PAK military was peeved about USA military intruding routinely over a 30-mile tract inside the PAK/AFG border. The USA military also has routine rights to overfly PAK to get from the Indian Ocean to Afghanistan. This intrusion was way beyond that.

Don't expect the USA to forget the PAK neglect. Don't expect the PAK to live down the embarrassment of superpower flex of power inside their borders.

They both want to get this behind them. The immediate death of OBL starts that healing process.
03:00 May 8, 2011 by wenddiver
I'm Happy,

We're Happy,

Hope your Happy Too!!!!

Happy Osama Bin Ladden's dead History Month!

Support extreme rendition of leftist judges for supporting Terrorism. Wjine all you want, TWO TO THE HEAD MEANS HE'S STILL DEAD.
05:15 May 8, 2011 by Tony Ryals
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
05:38 May 8, 2011 by Ludwig von America
Nobody knows yet if bin Laden's death will make the world any safer or more peaceful. Only time will tell. What people feel or think now may be much different from the eventual reality. My guess is that this event won't make much difference. It was disturbing to see revelers gathering near the White House celebrating the killing of bin Laden. The expressions of joy and happiness from many people shown in our media is also troubling. These things illustrate the ignorance instilled into so many people that one man can have so much real importance. This one man does not account for the reason behind 9/11. This one man does not account for the thousands of innocent deaths and the enormous tragedies and hardships bestowed upon so many people around the world since 9/11. The real reasons are still there and others will take bin Laden's place to address them.
06:49 May 8, 2011 by MfromUSA
Good God, Germany. get a grip!

If Bin Laden was a rabid dog that was running around biting, infecting and killing thousands of people you all would be cheering when it was finally shot/killed/murdered.

Bin Laden was exactly that.........a rabid, arsehole dog, biting ,killing and infecting others with his poison.

Because we/he belong to the human clan does not make us any better or worse than the rest of the creatures on this earth.

Was it really any better that Sadam had a trial and then was hangeg????

Dead id dead, no matter the route.

We all know Sadam was guilty of mass murder. Let us not pretend that it is more proper to try and then hang/execute someone than to kill him swiftly.

He likely died in just the manner he hoped to die..........swiftly and without pain. he was given that end. it is unfortunate that all his victims did not die so swiftly and painlessly..........the burned to death, junped to their death etc.

WHO was really mistreated here? certainly not Bin Laden.

He was worse than any animal I have ever been near, and I did have an encounter with a rabid dog when younger. I prefer the rabid dog!
07:33 May 8, 2011 by Gabriel Grubb
Bin Laden is dead! Rejoice! Good riddance to bad rubbish!
17:10 May 8, 2011 by bernie1927
The Pakistanis were complicit. For God's sake, he lived practically in a military compound for many years, but Pakistan is an autonomous country. For us to invade that country without their permission and commit an act of murder, I am sure, is legally at least, highly questionable. The only other option would have been to declare war on Pakistan. We should at least have had a Pakistani present during the attack. I can see why the Pakistanis are upset, but I hope they will get over it. Remember when the Israelis snatched Eichmann? That was an illegal act as well.
22:37 May 8, 2011 by ChrisRea
It is interesting that none of the "we must be joyful over the murdering of Osama" supporters does not contribute with useful, objective information to the discussion. It is only emotional statements that we hear and of course the old rhetoric that Osama was responsible for 9/11 (even if the US government never accused publicly Osama for that). I would be happy to hear of any objective information that proves me wrong.

Hat off to Heinz Uthmann! He has to courage to raise pertinent questions, even if this will make him the target of people that are fed only with propaganda.
09:37 May 9, 2011 by Sooney
If Heinz Uthmann wanted to do something note worthy for Germany, perhaps he should trade places with one of your German soldiers who are fighting for your country - albeit under a draft (but remember your country was freed by men who were also under a draft - following their countries orders to erradicate a mad man so you can be able to write these stupid comments - emotional - emotional - emotional) so selective memory goes with the territory - also and what's wrong with truthful rhetoric and historical rhetoric -hats off to those guys who are there fighting to ensure that Germany remains free from a new form of terror - albeit a small number but they are trying their best - but since he feels that what they are doing is so out of touch - switch roles - no media, no extra protection and oh by the way, since he supports their human rights and beleives that they won't shoot an unamred man - he gets no weapon and will be viewed as a member of the team - no one special and will have to carry his own wait under those commandos who get it - lets see how long he will last - as a matter of fact - why won't all these folks who have such strong convictions while living conviently switch places with them - and oh by the way, wonder if he did such a public thank you to those men - why don't you try it and see if you have the same emotional response - or are you just blowing smoke out of your mouths - he raised pertinent questions and got pertinent responses - but those responses are rebutted - double standards - give me convience and let me tell you how I want it - at your expense....funny folks
14:21 May 9, 2011 by J-Dub
Some of you Osama sympathizers are really, really STUPID. Clueless to the fact that this SCUMBAG terrorist willingly ordered the deaths of Westerners WORLDWIDE and watched himself on television in enjoyment. But as typical German politicians would, they sympathize with the DEVIL and the ENEMY. Ignorant to say the least, but I would expect nothing less. Bin Laden was the leader of a group of executioners himself. So before criticizing what the U.S. forces accomplished by entering Pakistan and killing this monster, wake up to the fact that for every 1 bullet he received, more than 5,000 people died at his order while the head of Al-Qaeda. Taking this PUKE to trial would be a waste of money since he would make a laughing stock out of it any way, much like Hussein did in Iraq. The Monster Bin Laden is dead, people. Pakistan FAILED to capture or kill him and he was in their country, right under their noses. The Americans grew tired of chasing him around, found him, kept it out of the Pakistani airwaves to avoid him getting away, and accomplished the mission of killing the world's most dangerous terrorist. The Puke Bin Laden is better off dead, and I could care less if he did not fire a shot or even had a weapon at all when he was found. The pain and suffering of those who have lost loved ones worldwide could care less as well. Only Germany sympathizes with a terrorist. Ignorant tolerance at its finest.
18:49 May 9, 2011 by EastPrussia
@xfyrchief: Please, save the posturing to try to look like yo are more "democratic" or have a greater sense of "justice."

I love this comment, it's exactly right. It is so easy for people to critize after the fact and try to establish this facade of being 'fair' and all-knowing, but if anyone was a victim of terrorism, they would seek retaliation. Reality is usual clear and obvious once the goggles of political correctness are taken off.
19:29 May 9, 2011 by Sooney
I want to know if there was an outcry from these folks when the following took place:

Now if this is true ­ SHAME ON YOU ­ but of course ­ you get excused....

Now - someone especially the judgemental hypocrital voices explain when and how they voiced their disapproval of this:

"It was clearly a violation of applicable international law," said former Chancellor Helmut Schmidt on a TV talk show recently. Is this the same Schmidt who gave the order to for the GSG 9 anti-terrorist force to shoot hijackers aboard a Lufthansa plane in Mogadishu before they had a chance to ask for a lawyer? "It doesn¦#39;t fit with my understanding of law and order that murderers are simply gunned down," said Schönenborn last week. But would he have said that on national television back in 1977?

Well Said here

And the anti-American subtext of the unenthusiastic German response to the execution of bin Laden isn¦#39;t the most jarring aspect. Far more remarkable is the distance ­ as if Germany is no longer part of this war on terror. As if there were no German forces in Afghanistan. As if 9/11 mastermind Mohammed Atta never lived in Germany. As if the Germans who died in Djerba in 2002 suffered from food poisoning. As if three men weren't just arrested plotting bomb attacks in Düsseldorf.

check the local article - originally translated from the Der Tagesspiegel from the make sure you scroll down to find it -- now don't go postal on the guy - he was just expressing his opinion - Are Germans right to criticize the joyous reaction to the killing of Osama bin Laden? Der Tagesspiegel¦#39;s Moritz Schuller detects a misplaced whiff of condescension.

This guy gets it! Shame on the rest....
06:36 May 10, 2011 by volvoman9
You go Girl!!!. Don't lose your nerve now.
Today's headlines
Student fined for spying on women via their webcams
Photo: DPA

Student from Munich fined €1,000 for spying on 32 different computers, using their webcams to take photographs, or record their keyboard history.

This is how much startup geeks earn in Germany
Photo: DPA

A comprehensive new survey of 143 startup founders shows how much you are likely to be earning at a German startup, from entry level all the way up to sitting on the board.

Man dies after beating for peeing near Freiburg church
The Johannes Church in Freiburg. Photo Jörgens Mi/Wikipedia

A middle-aged man from southern Germany has died after being attacked by a group of men who took umbrage with the fact he was urinating in the vicinity of a church.

The Local List
Seven German celebrities with uncanny doppelgängers
Former Berlin mayor Klaus Wowereit and actor Alec Baldwin. Photo: DPA; Gage Skidmore, Wikimedia Commons

Check out these seven look-a-likes of well known German figures - we admit that some are more tenuous than others...

Israel seeks to buy three new German submarines: report
A Dolphin class submarine. Photo: DPA

Israel is seeking to buy three more advanced submarines from Germany at a combined price of €1.2 billion, an Israeli newspaper reported Friday.

Here’s where people live the longest in Germany
Photo: DPA

Germans down south seem to know the secret to a long life.

More Germans identify as LGBT than in rest of Europe
Photo: DPA

The percentage of the German population which identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender is higher than anywhere else in Europe, according to a new study.

'Reichsbürger' pair attack police in Saxony-Anhalt
File photo: DPA.

A "Reichsbürger" and his wife attacked police officers on Thursday, just a day after another Reichsbürger fatally shot an officer in Bavaria.

Five things not to miss at the Frankfurt Book Fair
Photo: DPA

From consulting a book doctor to immersing yourself in an author's world with the help of virtual reality, here are five things not to miss at this week's Frankfurt Book Fair, the world's largest publishing event.

Parents who don't get nursery spot for kid entitled to pay
Photo: DPA

The Federal Court of Justice (BGH) ruled on Thursday that parents whose children don't receive placements in nursery care are entitled to compensation.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd