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NEWS

Short Update: COVID-19 crisis poses challenges for the German courts, particularly in white-collar crime proceedings

FairTrialsAdmin - May 5, 2020 - COVID-19 Updates, Delayed or accelerated proceedings, Prisoner releases

The Montags-SZ reports on 4 May 2020 that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, suspected white-collar criminals might sometimes benefit from short or late trials and lenient judgements. Sometimes defendants were released from pre-trial detention, such as former Maple boss Wolfgang Schuck, who faces trial at the Frankfurt Regional Court ("Landgericht") because of a potential involvement in the German cum-ex scandal. Lawyers concerned with the Maple case believe that this release was also due to the COVID-19 pandemic. German courts sometimes showed leniency in large economic proceedings or preferred to suspend long negotiations with many parties because of the risk of infection with COVID-19. "De facto, Corona takes us back to the time when cases of white-collar crime were prosecuted less rigorously than other crimes" warns Michael Kubiciel, professor of criminal law at the University of Augsburg. 

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