Germany is in the middle of a full-blown spat between the government and judiciary.
Heiko Maas, the country’s justice minister, has effectively sacked the chief prosecutor Harald Range.
Earlier Range accused Berlin of interfering in an investigation into alleged treason and state surveillance.
Prosecutors are probing the website Netzpolitik.org. To determine whether the news outlet revealed state secrets in articles on alleged plans to increase government scrutiny of citizens.
The chief prosecutor pulled no punches in condemning the government: “To influence investigations because their possible result is an intolerable interference with the freedom of justice.”
Range said Berlin had asked him to drop an independent investigator who claimed the journalists and the website were in the clear.
The investigation is currently on hold.
Markus Beckedahl is the founder and journalist of netzpolitik.org:“We are irritated that the investigations against us in regards to treason take a new turn every day. Only yesterday the federal chancellor said she did not think the investigation was correct, there was no point, especially the accusation of treason.”
The case has created uproar with Germans taking to the streets to defend press freedom.
Prosecutor Range was due to retire next year to be replaced by Munich’s public prosecutor Peter Frank