- Gustl Mollath demands compensation from the Free State of Bavaria for more than seven years, which he was forced to spend in psychiatric facilities.
- Mollath reports in court on the conditions in psychiatry. Even six years after his release, he suffers from the consequences.
- Overall, Mollath calls for 1.8 million euros. The court reveals at the hearing that it sees a basis for its claims.
He is Germany's most famous victim of justice, and when he returns to court five years after his last trial on Wednesday, Gustl Mollath takes his place on the plaintiffs' side for the first time. The state is back on the other side, but this time not in the form of prosecutors, assessors, doctors and judges, but represented only by lawyer Michael Then. He is the side of the defendant, because Mollath demands compensation from the Free State of Bavaria for more than seven years in a civil lawsuit, which he had to spend unfairly in psychiatric facilities.
The fact that Gustl Mollath has been wronged, the Regensburg district court found in his acquittal in 2014. Now he demands a total of 1.8 million euros as compensation. The 15th Civil Division in the district court Munich I reveals in the hearing that it certainly sees a basis for its claims.
Mollath and his lawyer Hildebrecht Braun had filed the lawsuit a year ago, since then there had been extra-judicial negotiations and finally a bid for a total of 170 000 euros, but no agreement. The Free State, with four ministries under the auspices of the Ministry of Justice, has already paid Mollath € 70,000, subject to recovery and on the basis of the Penalty Compensation Act, which provides for daily sentences of just € 25 per unlawful day off.
Mollath would have had to file an application within half a year of his acquittal, says the lawyer of the Free State. Now it is not a question of everything having been done correctly in the case of Mollath, but of the question of whether a claim to official liability results from mistakes. Nevertheless, the Free State is ready for further talks on claims and their legal basis, only a solution must be verifiable and coherent. However, he could not conclude a settlement on that day under any circumstances, because that would require coordination with all four ministries.
Mollath's lawyer sharply criticizes the fact that not a single ministerial official participates in the trial, even though the Ministry of Justice is located one floor above the courtroom in the Munich Palace of Justice. The Free State is following the motto "everyone has done everything right, only Mr. Mollath has sadly landed for seven and a half years in psychiatry". But it was "a man on this occasion broken under unbearable conditions".
Mollath himself only briefly takes the floor and describes exemplarily these conditions and the defenselessness, which he had to endure as a forced-educated supposed delusional patient in his total 2747 days in psychiatry. For example, every night in the district hospital Bayreuth every two hours and in the closed ward in Straubing every hour his room was illuminated. Even today, almost six years after his release, he wakes up every night several times sweaty.
"It's a real miracle that I have not gone crazy in those seven and a half years of unbelievable things happening" – and if anyone really goes nuts, that's considered evidence of his delusion, says Mollath, who advocates such sentences vocally received approval from the few but critical listeners in the hall, some of whom see themselves as victims of the law.
Mollath's case has spread over the years to a scandal and led to a committee of inquiry in the parliament, including demands for resignation to the then Minister of Justice Beate Merk (CSU) and to a change in the laws for the execution of sentences in psychiatric hospitals.
Mollath reports in the district court now even about the beginnings of the affair. In 2002, his then wife reported him on the verge of divorce because he beat and choked her a year and a half before. A first expert attested to him serious mental disorders, further reports should follow. Mollath has repeatedly refused to undergo appropriate examinations. Early on he was twice forcibly admitted to the examination.
His allegations that his wife had participated as a colleague of the Hypo-Vereinsbank together with colleagues and customers in tax evasion and black money transactions, the judiciary did not believe – by 2012, then a nine-year-old internal report of the bank was known, the allegations to large parts confirmed.
Mollath had already spent six years in psychiatry there, after an appraiser had attributed paranoid and delusional disorders and the Nuremberg-Fürth district court because of the alleged acts of violence against his wife, although acquitted as guilty, but at the same time as insane and gemeingefährlich instructed in psychiatry would have. All sorts of other instances, appraisers and penal enforcement chambers had always joined this until 2012. 2014 followed the acquittal in Regensburg.
The district court of Munich thanks Mollath for its meticulous preparation and for a negotiation, as he had not experienced before. Although the Chamber sees certain obstacles to Mollath's claims in German law, it refers to the European Convention on Human Rights, from which a claim can certainly be deduced. The criminal proceedings at the Nuremberg-Fürth district court should have ended quickly and was "certainly not done with the necessary care," says the chairman Judge Frank Tholl. "According to current estimates, we tend to regard the judgment as unlawful in the sense of the Human Rights Convention." The procedure in Munich will now be continued in writing. Whether it comes to another public hearing, to an agreement or a judgment, is open.