February 19, 2018

Searches and Seizures Were Unlawful

In a decision communicated today, the Jena Higher Regional Court has found that the searches and seizures conducted by the Meiningen Public Prosecutor’s Office in business and private premises in September 2015 in connection with injecting at the Gerstungen trough were unlawful.

The decision means that the company and the individuals accused, including the former chairman of the Supervisory Board, Dr. Ralf Bethke, and former chairman of the Board of Executive Directors, Norbert Steiner, have been fully cleared. It confirms once again that all the accusations were groundless from the outset and that the permits issued under water law were legal. The proceedings have now been concluded.

In May 2017, the Higher Regional Court had already confirmed the decision of the Meiningen Regional Court not to open main proceedings in connection with the alleged commissioning of criminal acts involving the injecting of saline wastewater into the Gerstungen trough in the years 1999 through 2007. At the time, the court made it perfectly clear that it was critical of the work of the investigating prosecutor. The Free State of Thuringia was ordered to cover the costs of proceedings and to reimburse expenses incurred by the persons who were wrongly accused.