Raid, pretrial detention, allegations of gangsterism: The operators of Artemis brothel are finally being compensated. Berlin’s Justice Senator, Badenberg, overturns the decision of her predecessor.
Berlin’s Senate Department for Justice has yielded in its dispute with the two operators of the large-scale brothel, Artemis. They will receive compensation and damages totaling €250,000 from the state of Berlin for the unlawful pretrial detention, the charges brought against them, and the defamatory statements made by the prosecution. The Justice Department and the operators reached a settlement agreement on Tuesday before the Chamber Court, which was announced by both parties on Friday.
At the same time, the state of Berlin apologizes for its actions during the raid in April 2016, which the courts deemed unlawful. At that time, 950 police officers and customs officials were involved in the search of Artemis and the operators’ residences. The prosecution created the impression during a press conference that Artemis was involved in organized crime. They claimed that the men had committed serious offenses, including violence within the realm of prostitution. The prosecution compared the operators to mafia boss Al Capone. Justice Senator Badenberg corrects the mistakes of her Left Party predecessor
The Justice Department stated, “The state of Berlin regrets the pretrial detention suffered by the operators and four employees of Artemis in 2016, as well as the statements made by former representatives of the Berlin prosecution on April 14, 2016, where severe allegations of tax evasion and non-payment of social security contributions were made, despite the fact that the managing directors of Artemis GmbH had always fully complied with their tax and social security obligations.”
Furthermore, the Justice Department acknowledged that there was never any suspicion, as already determined by the courts, against the Artemis operators Hakki and Kenan Simsek. The state apologizes for the pretrial detention and the significant disadvantages suffered by the accused at that time.
With this, Justice Senator Felor Badenberg (independent, CDU) rectifies the previous line of her predecessors and corrects the actions of former Senator Lena Kreck (Left Party), who had rejected compensation despite clear legal circumstances.
Already in December, the Chamber Court ruled that the state of Berlin should compensate the Artemis operators with €100,000. The statements made by the prosecution in 2016 were partly incorrect and prejudiced. However, the accusations collapsed, and no charges were allowed in 2018.
The state of Berlin was now facing another defeat
Former Justice Senator Lena Kreck (Left Party) could have prevented the ruling last year by making a donation of €25,000 to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). However, she rejected the settlement. Instead, she even filed an appeal with the Federal Court of Justice following the clear ruling. The new Justice Senator Badenberg has now revoked this decision.
At the same time, the state of Berlin was facing another potential defeat before the Chamber Court. The brothel operators were suing for compensation for the nearly four-month-long pretrial detention. However, during the hearing on Tuesday, the Justice Department eventually conceded and accepted a settlement. This puts an end to both lawsuits. Artemis operators intend to donate the sum to charitable causes
“Seven years after this unprecedented breach of law, the state of Berlin finally demonstrates willingness to unambiguously distance itself from the serious breaches of official duty. This is a positive signal to restore confidence in the rule of law,” said the lawyer representing the Artemis operators, Margarete Gräfin von Galen. Former Justice Senator Kreck showed “shocking ignorance towards the affected parties and also towards the Chamber Court,” said lawyer Silvin Bruns. “It is highly commendable that the new management confronted the facts after the change of government.”
The trigger for their lawsuits was former Justice Senator Dirk Behrendt (Greens). It would not have been necessary if Behrendt had “simply apologized for the judicially established mistakes and thereby helped to heal the reputational damage suffered by the clients,” Bruns said. “The taxpayers now have to compensate for his stubbornness, as he persistently ignored all relevant inquiries.”
The operators intend to donate the compensation to a good cause. Already after the December ruling, the operators announced their intention to donate the awarded compensation to charitable causes. With the new settlement, they will first compensate the employees for the suffered pretrial detention. The remaining amount will be added to the €100,000 earmarked for donation.
Previously we wrote in this topic
Charges against FKK Artemis, a sex club in Berlin, have been dismissed after a lengthy legal battle. The trial, which started over two years ago, accused the club’s owners of operating illegally. In 2016, the club was raided by over 900 police officers, leading to the arrest of the owners and staff. However, it was revealed in court that the prosecution’s evidence was unreliable. Despite their release, the owners faced significant challenges, including damage to their reputation and a decline in clientele. Read the full article to learn more about the charges and the aftermath of the police raid on FKK Artemis: Charges against FKK Artemis in Berlin dismissed
The claim for damages by the owners of Berlin’s “Artemis” brothel continues to be a contentious legal battle. After six years, a settlement offer from the Berlin Superior Court has been rejected, prolonging the uncertainty of the outcome. The brothel was raided in 2016, leading to false accusations and detentions. The Court of Appeal acknowledged mistakes by the state and recommended a financial settlement. However, negotiations have stalled, with the state offering significantly lower compensation than requested. The court expressed frustration with the Berlin Senate’s stance and emphasized the need for a representative with decision-making power to attend the negotiations. Read the full article for more details on the ongoing controversy: Berlin brothel raid controversy: The “Artemis” operator’s claim for damages continues to take up court time
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