Is the judicial system corrupt

Corruption in the judiciary : Richter faces five years in prison

If there are officials in the offices responsible for taking state legal exams who want to sell their exclusive knowledge to exam candidates - it would be a bad idea. The district court of Lüneburg sentenced former magistrate Jörg L. to five years imprisonment on Thursday for sixfold serious corruption, four attempted coercion and a total of six cases of betrayal of secrets. He has to repay 5000 euros, which he pocketed in one of the deeds.

"A harsh judgment", his defense attorney Johannes Altenburg acknowledges the verdict. Here "an example was made", which he found "extremely questionable under the rule of law". He wants to examine an appeal to the Federal Court of Justice.

A big hurdle called the state examination

Should the judgment become final, it will form the last chapter of a corruption incident that is unique in the local judiciary. Thousands of candidates annually pass the examination offices through exams after their university studies and legal clerkship in order to recruit qualified staff for courts, offices and the legal profession. The pressure is high. A third regularly fails the first state examination, and the second, after the legal clerkship, which a "fully qualified lawyer" has to take, remains an insurmountable hurdle for many. Never before had anyone made the most of his position in this sensitive area as the defendant is alleged to have done.

The 48-year-old family man served the state as head of department in the Lower Saxony examination office. "Very committed", the chairwoman of the criminal chamber Sabine Philipp admits to him. So committed that a job was created especially for him in order to keep the MPs who had previously only been temporarily. But even before he took office, the court had decided to make immoral offers to the candidates, in every respect: The defendant only had "advantages of his own" in mind, "money and sexual contacts" with trainee teachers.

Jörg L. threatened with charges of defamation

Judge Phillip listed the cases in which the defendant approached examinees, some of whom he himself trained in diarrhea courses for a successful second and final attempt. He offered them a sketch of the solution. To prevent denunciations, he threatened criminal charges for defamation. He wanted to help migrants with language problems, the lawyer defended himself, but the Chamber did not accept L.'s philanthropist. Witnesses "with excellent language skills" also appeared in court. Some had passed their exams and just wanted to improve their grades.

Another picture that the defendant drew of himself showed "inconsistencies". L. had told the court of depression and thoughts of suicide after he was picked up by investigators with a gun, a pile of ammunition and cash, and prostitutes in bed in a luxury hotel in Milan.

The court found that anyone who threatened others with disadvantages could hardly find himself in a life crisis. Philipp pointed out the "hierarchical gap" from which L. tried to force "people in an unfavorable situation" while he himself was in an excellent position. "He played on this keyboard."

No pension entitlements

"The law protects the integrity of the public service," emphasized the judge, "and with it the trust that the population has in it." The acts are "to a high degree capable of impairing legal peace". Jörg L. described his influence as the biggest mistake of his life. "This is true." But no one other than himself is to blame. She rejected the allegation with the example, including that the judiciary "hated" him. It was all about the guilt of the accused, who had allowed himself to be bribed commercially and therefore in a serious case.

A verdict that is close to the prosecutor's office, which had only demanded three months more. The defense lawyers, however, said eleven months should have been enough. L. will lose his judge's office, probably also his pension entitlements. The court credited him with his confession, but also mentioned the 2,000 special examinations, during which 16,000 examinations were retrospectively examined for fraud. Disqualification proceedings are ongoing in 15 cases, and two suspects were even briefly in government service. Some cases are still being resolved. There could be other charges - theoretically also against Jörg L.

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