Germany drops Turkey President Erdogan insult case

Germany drops Turkey President Erdogan insult case

German prosecutors have dropped an investigation into a TV comedian accused of insulting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The prosecutors in the western city of Mainz said they had not found sufficient evidence to continue the inquiry against Jan Boehmermann.

In March, Boehmermann recited a satirical poem on TV which made sexual references to Mr Erdogan.

Mr Erdogan then filed a complaint alleging that he had been insulted.

In a statement on Tuesday, the prosecutors said that “criminal actions could not be proven with the necessary certainty”.

It was “questionable”, the statement added, whether Boehmermann’s poem constituted slander, given the satirical context in which the comedian recited it.

In April, German Chancellor Angela Merkel Germany said her government would allow the potential prosecution of the comedian, triggering criticism that she did not stand up for free speech.

Under German law, the cabinet had to approve a criminal inquiry.

However, Mrs Merkel added that the authorities would move to repeal the controversial and little-used Article 103 of the penal code, which concerns insults against foreign heads of state, by 2018.

Boehmermann is a satirist and television presenter well-known for pushing the boundaries of German humour.

The poem was broadcast on ZDF television. The comedian was later given police protection.

Mr Erdogan has drawn much criticism in Turkey and internationally for attacking political opponents, including harassment of journalists. Many accuse him of authoritarian methods, stifling legitimate dissent and promoting an Islamist agenda.


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