Status: 02/22/2021 4:00 p.m.
By Florian Flade, WDR
Three months after the Berlin public prosecutor’s office took over the investigation against Attila Hildmann, according to information from WDR and “Süddeutscher Zeitung” (SZ) important evidence has still not been evaluated. The se are computer hard drives that are said to have been secured in Hildmann’s apartment last year.
Initially, the Brandenburg judiciary had investigated Hildmann, who lives in Wandlitz in the Barnim district, who regularly incites against the federal government’s corona policy and spreads crude conspiracy myths, especially via his Telegram channel. In mid-November 2020, the cookbook author finally received a visit from the police, who carried out a so-called “threat statement” and allegedly seized six laptops, several cell phones and other data carriers.
Berlin public prosecutor took over
At the end of November, the Berlin public prosecutor took over the proceedings from the Cottbus justice system. 60 volumes and more than 33 case files are said to have been handed over. “It contributes to more effective criminal prosecution if these investigations are now bundled in hand with us,” said Berlin’s Justice Senator Dirk Behrendt (Greens) at the time. And the public prosecutor announced: “We will clarify whether and to what extent Attila Hildmann could have exceeded the limits of freedom of expression and made himself liable to prosecution”.
Evaluation is delayed
So far, however, the seized evidence was based on information from WDR and SZ not yet evaluated. The forensic experts at the Berlin State Criminal Police Office (LKA) are said to have found that a hard drive was so badly damaged that it could not be read. Another hard drive is said to be so well protected with a password that the investigators have not yet been able to crack it. Obviously, other data carriers could be mirrored, but they have not yet been evaluated.
This causes astonishment in Berlin judicial circles. The Berlin police did not want to comment on “ongoing investigations” when asked. A spokeswoman for the public prosecutor said that “the evaluation of the confiscated data carriers and technical devices” is ongoing. In addition, together with the Berlin LKA, “over a thousand statements made by the suspect published on different channels are carefully evaluated”.
Hildmann had appeared repeatedly in demonstrations by corona deniers, right-wing extremists and conspiracy ideologies in the past year. He is also said to operate a Telegram channel with more than 114,000 followers. Dozens of reports against Hildmann had been received by the police authorities in the past few months, among other things for sedition, threats and insults.