53 German Y.B. Int'l L. 833 (2010)
The 2009 Kunduz Air Attack: The Decision of the Federal Prosecutor-General on the Dismissal of Criminal Proceedings against Members of the German Armed Forces

handle is hein.journals/gyil53 and id is 834 raw text is: 










     The 2009 Kunduz Air Attack: The Decision of the Federal
   Prosecutor-General on the Dismissal of Criminal Proceedings
           Against Members of the German Armed Forces


           WOLFF HEINTSCHEL VON HEINEGG* AND PETER DREIST*


                                I. Introduction


   The present contribution examines the decision of the Prosecutor-General of the
Federal Republic of Germany (Generalbundesanwalt) on the dismissal of criminal
proceedings against members of the German armed forces (Bundeswehr) deployed to
Afghanistan who were involved in an air attack on 4 September 2009 against two
tank trucks and against Taliban fighters who had captured the trucks on the day
before. This investigation is the first investigation in the history of the Federal Repub-
lic of Germany which involved the application of international criminal law in a con-
flict situation. The Federal Prosecutor-General's decision was delivered on 16 April
2010, more than half a year after the incident. At that time it was classified because it
contained sensitive information about the military operations in Afghanistan, com-
mand and control structures, military capabilities and, last but not least, human
sources of secret intelligence. However, in view of increasing allegations against the
German officers of having committed war crimes, the German authorities decided to
publish an unclassified version of the decision that is only available in German.1 The

   * Professor of Public Law, Public International Law, European Law and Foreign Constitutional Law
at the Europa University Viadrina, Frankfurt (Oder), Germany.
   .. Branch Chief, Branch Legal Advisor and Public Prosecutor for Disciplinary Offenses to the Chief
of Staff, German Air Force, German Ministry of Defense, Bonn; LEGAD COM RC North, Mazar-e-
Sharif, Afghanistan, 22 October 2008 to 7 February 2009.
   ' Federal Prosecutor-General (Generalbundesanwalt), 3 BJs 6/10-4 of 16 April, 2010 (hereinafter
Prosecutor-General's Report). This version is available on the Federal Prosecutor-General's website:
http://www.generalbundesanwalt.de/de/aktuell.php (accessed on 18 November 2010). The link to this
unclassified version is not easy to find: see link: aktuell, further link 19.04.2010 - 8/2010 - Ermitt-

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