Stuttgart (ots) – On Wednesday, August 12, 2020, Harald Seiz, as Managing Director of Karatbars International GmbH, filed a criminal complaint with criminal charges against the editor-in-chief of the “Handelsblatt”, two editors of the “Handelsblatt” and the management of Handelsblatt GmbH, on charges of insulting, aiding and abetting or inciting the violation of private secrets as well as violation of official secrecy and a special obligation of secrecy.
On July 15, 2020, Harald Seiz had already filed criminal charges and a criminal complaint with the German public prosecutor’s office in Stuttgart against two editors and the editor-in-chief of “Handelsblatt” on suspicion of incitement to violate official secrets and a special obligation to secrecy, pursuant to Section 353b and Section 26 of the German Criminal Code (StGB) and a possible violation of the State Data Protection Act of Baden-Württemberg (Germany), for all offences under consideration. The case number of the public prosecutor’s office in Stuttgart was first: Js 71420/20 – now the public prosecutor’s office in Stuttgart has assigned a final case number, with the case number: 171 Js 71420/20.
The defamatory criticism is a statement in which the focus is no longer on the argument in the matter, but on the defamation of the person. Polemical or exaggerated criticism is not yet covered by this; what is required is rather that the expression of opinion consists in the disparagement of a person or a company. The protection of expressions of opinion which present themselves as defamation of third parties, however, takes a back seat to the protection of personality.
Section 186 of the German Criminal Code (StGB) states the following on the subject of defamation: “Anyone who asserts or disseminates in relation to another a fact which is likely to disparage the same or to disparage it in public opinion shall, if this fact is not demonstrably true, be punished with imprisonment of up to one year or with a fine and, if the act is committed publicly or by disseminating writings (Section 11(3)), with imprisonment of up to two years or with a fine”.
Currently, Harald Seiz, an extensive team of lawyers and media experts, is checking all the articles of the “Handelsblatt” with regard to Karatbars and their managing director, and the Internet is also being searched extensively, here among other things with regard to possible abusive criticism, claims for damages and possible further punishable offences, which will then be reported if necessary.
During a first research of this media team it came out that both of the displayed editors of the “Handelsblatt” use their obviously private Twitter accounts to refer to articles of the “Handelsblatt”, in relation to Karatbars and Harald Seiz, and thus advertise their own articles, to the economic advantage of the “Handelsblatt”.
The lawyers of Karatbars are interested in whether this advertising of articles is regulated in the employment contract and in which way this is financially compensated as well as whether taxes are or have been paid for this economic benefit in favour of the “Handelsblatt”, since Karatbars International GmbH and Harald Seiz, statements, here concerning Karatbars and Harald Seiz, are considered by editors on the Twitter accounts of the displayed “Handelsblatt” as credit damage.
At the same time, the team of lawyers of Karatbars International GmbH is currently examining a claim for damages, here personally against the responsible editors, the editor-in-chief and the management of the “Handelsblatt”, in relation to the latest articles, here concerning Karatbars and Harald Seiz.
The “Handelsblatt” demonstrably advertised in the media for an ex-developer of Karatbars, this on 03.04. 2019 and on 29.04. 2020, the latter still during an ongoing investigation at the public prosecutor’s office against the ex-developer.
It remains to be clarified whether the Handelsblatt was aware of possible criminal records of the ex-developer and what instructions the publisher and the editors-in-chief gave the two editors of the Handelsblatt affected by the criminal complaint with regard to inquiries at public prosecution offices and whether editors of the Handelsblatt gained unauthorized access to the police information system POLIS or commissioned third parties to obtain data on Harald Seiz.
Finally, it should be noted that within the European Union, Article 48(1) of the Charter of Fundamental Rights guarantees that “Everyone charged with a crime shall be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law”.
“The public prosecutor’s office and the judge will now have to decide on the current criminal charges against the “Handelsblatt”, editors, chief editors and the management of the Handelsblatt GmbH, here referred to articles of the “Handelsblatt” about “Karatbars” and “Harald Seiz”, possibly also because of possible economic damages.
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