In the court case against the operators of the cyber bunker, the Federal Court of Justice largely confirmed the convictions of the eight defendants by the Trier regional court. The BGH announced this on Tuesday. It was only specified that the convicts were guilty of participating in a criminal organization that committed particularly serious crimes. Overall, the defendants were rightly sentenced to prison sentences for membership in a criminal organization, but not for aiding and abetting crimes that were carried out via the darknet center. The revisions were largely rejected (ref. 3 StR 306/22).
Only in one case was the amount of income to be included slightly reduced due to a calculation error, it is said. Another chamber of the regional court must once again deal with detailed questions about confiscated technology. The regional court rejected this for some of the seized equipment.
No new issue in the district court
The BGH did not consider the defendant’s objection that, as web hosts, they were not liable to prosecution due to the liability privilege in the Telemedia Act to be valid. A possible new edition of the mammoth process is therefore cancelled.
The defendants ran a bulletproof hoster from a former Bundeswehr bunker – the “Cyberbunker” – in Traben-Trarbach on the Moselle. They had publicly advertised that they would not interfere with customers’ hosting content as long as it did not involve child or youth pornography, and that they would not cooperate with the authorities under any circumstances. Not only illegal medicines and drugs were traded via the servers, but also stolen data, for example. According to the indictment, the approximately 250,000 crimes investigated also include data theft, computer attacks, counterfeit money transactions as well as links to child pornography and murder orders.
In September 2019, 650 officers from special operations teams from several federal states stormed the bunker, and the operators were meanwhile arrested in a restaurant in Traben-Trarbach. In December 2021, after 79 days of trial, seven men and one woman were sentenced to prison as a “criminal organization” by the Trier regional court (case number 2a KLs 5 Js 30/15). The Attorney General’s Office was of the opinion that they were also guilty of complicity in the crimes committed and called for higher penalties. That’s why she, like the defense, filed an appeal, which the BGH now had to decide on.
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