Law Professor Weighs in on German Prosecution in Diren Dede Case - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

Law Professor Weighs in on German Prosecution in Diren Dede Case

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MISSOULA - A law professor said it's unusual for German prosecutors to investigate a foreign crime.

German officials said prosecutors in Hamburg are requesting information from Missoula investigators surrounding the death of German student Diren Dede.

Associate Professor of Law at the University of Baltimore, James Maxeiner said since there's already an ongoing case in Missoula County District Court, German prosecution of Markus Kaarma is unlikely, but it's still very unclear how the case will resolve.

"It is peculiar for them to investigate a foreign event like this," he said.

Maxeiner said it would be more likely for Hamburg attorneys to prosecute in a foreign case if a German citizen had committed a crime.

"We've added this new idea that you prosecute somebody who did the act abroad who's not a citizen, but who hurt a citizen," he said.

Officials at the German consulate said their criminal law applies to offenses committed abroad against a German, if the act is a criminal offense where it took place. Maxeiner said the same goes for foreign crimes against Americans, but only under extraordinary circumstances.

"If somebody were to commit a terrorist attack in, say, France, on an American, that could be a crime under American law, for which that person might well be tried," he explained.

Maxeiner said it's unclear whether or not the Missoula case would come to a halt so a German case to move forward.

"My supposition is-- but I have to stress it's only a supposition-- is that actually so long as the U.S. investigation is continuing, I wouldn't expect that they'd do anything," he said.

He said in the past two months, the case has gained a lot of attention in Germany.

"Germany is a very rational place, and they believe in rationality, and it's very hard to accept this happens here in the United States because they think we're a leading country."

Last Wednesday, Markus Kaarma pleaded not guilty to deliberate homicide for the death of 17-year-old Diren Dede. His next court appearance is scheduled for June 25.

Representatives for Governor Bullock's office said they have not received any requests for information from Hamburg prosecutors.
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