The Public Prosecution Service does not have to return seized digital data carriers from motorcycle club Caloh Wagoh as previously determined by the court, according to the Supreme Court today. In a criminal investigation into alleged criminal offenses committed within the motorcycle club, approximately seven hundred digital data carriers were seized.
Ten suspects went to court and demanded their data carriers back, including mobile phones, a camera and an iPad. According to the lawyer of the suspects, his clients have a normal job and are also self-employed. The confiscation of their computers, administration and customer files would put great pressure on the continuation of their businesses.
The complainants were found to be right by the court, because the criminal investigation by the Public Prosecution Service (PPS) would take too long, namely longer than six months. The judge therefore considered that the interests of the complainants outweighed the criminal interest in allowing the seizure to continue.
The Public Prosecution Service appealed to the Supreme Court. According to the PPS, the data carriers of the suspects could not yet be fully read. “As no substantive investigation into these goods has yet been able to take place, the investigation interest is still fully valid. The investigation focuses on communication between complainants and suspects in the investigation,” said the public prosecutor. He said that the devices were returned in the interim when they were examined.
The Supreme Court has overturned the decision of the court because it is not properly substantiated. “This is a complex and time-consuming criminal investigation of a large number of seized data carriers. The fact that this investigation has not been completed after six months does not mean that the PPS would not have acted decisively,” the Supreme Court said.
According to the Supreme Court, the court did not properly explain why that would be the case in this case. In addition, the court has insufficiently explained what the interests of the complainants are and why they outweigh the interests of the criminal investigation. The case has now been referred back to the court by the Supreme Court, which has to rule on this again.
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