Dr Krombach’s Final (?) Contribution to the European Judicial Area

Last week-end, Dr. Dieter Krombach was found in the street, tied up, in front of a court in Mulhouse, France, in the middle of the night.

What was he doing there, you may wonder?

Well, André Bamberski has now revealed that he had the 74 year old German doctor kidnapped in Germany and brought to France. The French police had been alerted that Dr. Krombach could be found in Mulhouse by an anonymous phone call from someone speaking French with a strong Russian accent.

Of course, many readers will know what Bamberski has against Krombach from the famous Krombach cases of the European Court of Justice and the European Court of Human Rights. Krombach allegedly raped and killed Bamberski’s 14 year old daughter in 1982. He was sentenced by a French court in abstentia in 1995 to 15 years of prison. But he never served them, as German authorities did not prosecute him, nor extradited him. So Bamberski, it might be argued, was thinking that he would soon die without serving his sentence. One logical theory is that he did not really trust the German legal system, so he decided to take the necessary steps to ensure that justice would done. It has been suggested that he thus involved a couple of Russian associates he had met in Munich earlier this month.

If that is true (and we offer no formal opinion either way here), he may or may not have been aware that what he was doing was illegal. Possibly, he had not heard about West Tankers and mutual trust. At the same time, one doubts that Dr Krombach was a stronger believer in mutual trust, since the European Court of Human Rigths recognized that he had not been afforded a fair trial by French criminal courts.

In any case, Bambersky has now been arrested in France and charged on Tuesday with kidnapping, among other criminal offences.

Professor Hess informed me that the Bavarian ministry of justice has issued earlier today a press declaration insisting that States have the monopoly of violence, that private individuals may substitute neither judges nor enforcement authorities, and that this abduction was wholly unacceptable.

Krombach was first brought to a hospital in Mulhouse, then transferred to Paris so that he could be heard by a French judge on Wednesday night. Bamberski’s lawyer is calling for a new criminal trial in France.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • John October 22, 2009, 12:38 pm

    Given the particularities of the case, don’t you think it would be more appropriate to write “allegedly killed and raped”?

  • Jim October 22, 2009, 5:15 pm

    Certainly, nobody was there when he made the child take drugs, but he was sentenced by a court of law to 15 years.

  • John October 22, 2009, 5:20 pm

    Just to be clear, I am not sympathetic to this guy, but indeed inclined to believe he’s guilty. But, the French proceedings took place without him being present and – more importantly – without him having a counsel representing him, as far as I know. In addition, German prosecutors have several times declined to indict him for the alleged murder.