A judge at a court in Weimar has been sentenced to two years in prison due to a controversial decision regarding the mandatory wearing of masks during the COVID-19 period. The criminal court in Erfurt issued a two-year suspended sentence against the judge on Wednesday on charges of legal misconduct.
Thus, the court did not meet the prosecution’s demands, as the prosecutor’s office had requested a three-year prison sentence without suspension. The defense lawyer had pleaded for an acquittal.
The verdict is still not final, and both the defense lawyers and the prosecution have announced their intention to appeal the judgment before the Federal Supreme Court.
If the verdict becomes final, the judge could face the loss of his position and pension, as the general law for public employees mandates this in case of a prison sentence of twelve months or more.
Court: Planning and preparations for legal procedures have been undertaken
The presiding judge stated during the justification of the verdict that the accused had issued a judgment that was “intended from the outset,” and had initiated the proceedings in the Weimar court where the decision was issued.
The judge had been associated with the organization “Judges for Critique of Public Prosecutors and Judges.” The judge who was working at the Weimar court at that time had ordered in April 2021 that children in the Weimar schools were not required to wear masks.
He considered his interim statement justified from the perspective of the well-being of the children.
The judge’s decision sparked widespread controversy both nationally and internationally, and it was subsequently overturned in later stages. The judge did not have the jurisdiction to answer the question posed to him, as determined by the Thuringian Higher Administrative Court.
The Federal Constitutional Court later affirmed this opinion.
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