Paying your favourite charity is apparently sufficient to get German prosecutors to drop prosecution – at least when the offender is zu Guttenberg and the offense is plagiarism.
I had not expected that Germany would still be granting droits de feodalité dominante
Does appear to be “one law for the rich and famous”…
Bavarian aristocrat and former German defense minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg has paid 20,000 euros to avoid prosecution on charges of plagiarism. With the case dismissed, Guttenberg could stage a political comeback.
German authorities have dropped their investigation into plagiarism charges against Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg after the former defense minister agreed to make a donation to a charitable institution.
The public prosecutor’s office said that although 23 passages of Guttenberg’s doctoral thesis possibly violated copyright laws, the monetary damage to the original author was only marginal and Guttenberg had not profited financially.
According to German law, misdemeanor cases can be dismissed if the accused agrees to pay a sum of money, usually to the state or a charitable organization. The court, public prosecutor’s office and the alleged victim all have to agree to the dismissal.
Guttenberg has already wired 20,000 euros ($26,794) to German Cancer Aid, a non-profit organization that supports research into cancer prevention and treatment. The former defense minister can now avoid a criminal record, although the investigation could be resumed if new evidence comes to light.
“It’s a second-rate dismissal, but it’s a dismissal” said Norbert Geis, a legal expert and a parliamentary representative with Guttenberg’s Christian Social Union, a regional ally of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats. ……