An EU arrest warrant issued by Spain for a key al-Qaeda suspect has been blocked by Germany’s highest court. The Federal Constitutional Court upheld an article of the constitution stopping the state from handing over its citizens. As a result Mamoun Darkazanli, a German-Syrian businessman, was allowed to walk free after nearly a year in custody.
Although he has never been charged in Germany, Spanish authorities believe he has carried out “logistical support and financal activity” for the al-Qaeda network. Germany’s Justice Minister, Brigitte Zypries, said the ruling could undermine the warrant, one of Europe’s most significant security tools since the September 11th attacks.
She described the court’s decision as a set-back for the battle against international terrorism. A new law could be ready within four to six weeks, she added, although Germany’s expected general election in September could stall the warrant’s re-launch for months.