• Berlin
  • Konrad Werner: The Heckler & Koch plot thickens


Konrad Werner: The Heckler & Koch plot thickens

Prosecuting media outlets has become Germany's new favourite thing – after Böhmermann, public prosecutors have now started going after journalists who uncovered Heckler & Koch's illegal arms deal.

Image for Konrad Werner: The Heckler & Koch plot thickens
Photo by Regi51 (CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikimedia Commons)

About a month ago, the German Internet had kittens about Jan Böhmermann. In fact, the German Internet people became so enraged that Angela Merkel allowed state prosecutors to open an investigation against the impish, quite-good satirist that it laid millions of angry purple eggs that hatched into millions of mad little kittens, who were so deranged with concern about their right to call the Turkish president a goat-fucking paedophile that they blanked out the fact that their heads had popped with similar rage when Greek people compared Angela Merkel to Hitler a couple of years ago.

But weirdly, it seems to have passed under the German Internet’s kitten-egg-laying radar that the authorities have found a taste for prosecuting the press. On Monday, we found out that Stuttgart’s public prosecutor asked his counterpart in Munich to open an investigation into four journalists and an activist for publishing documents about Heckler & Koch’s illegal sale of several thousand G36 and MP5 rifles to Mexico. (These guns were found with the police force in Iguala who helped massacre 43 students). This is both illegal and immoral and directly contributes to all the misery of this world.

The journalists published these documents – which showed that the German government helped H&K get round export controls – in a book and showed them in a documentary that was aired in September last year. They even won a Grimme prize for it (which Böhmermann also won). Within weeks of all this new publicity, the prosecutor – who had been sitting on the investigation for five years – finally pressed charges against six H&K employees (including two former CEOs). But then, a few months later, he called for an investigation against the journalists who made him get off his fat arse and do his job.

This is pretty fucked up if you ask me. But obviously it’s not as funny as the goat-fucking thing.

All this, and more, in this week’s News des Nachrichtens, the German news podcast with Konrad and Drew Portnoy: