Tags: jan boehmermann | erdogan | poem | prosecuted

Jan Boehmermann's Erdogan Poem Slam Won't Be Prosecuted

Image: Jan Boehmermann's Erdogan Poem Slam Won't Be Prosecuted

Jan Boehmermann, host of the late-night "Neo Magazin Royale" on the public ZDF channel is pictured during a TV show of Markus Lanz in Hamburg, Germany on Aug. 21, 2012. (Reuters/Morris Mac Matzen)

By    |   Thursday, 06 Oct 2016 04:54 AM

Jan Boehmermann won’t be prosecuted for a poem about Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, after German prosecutors said they dropped an investigation into accusations that Boehmermann offended the foreign leader on national television.

The German comedian read the poem on a show in March suggesting that Erdogan engaged in cruelty and watched child pornography, Reuters reported. This, in turn, prompted the Turkish leader to file a complaint with prosecutors, saying that he had been insulted.

Initially, the German government gave prosecutors the go ahead to purse the case against the comedian, but was strongly criticized as a result.

Tuesday, prosecutors said that they hadn’t found sufficient evidence to imply that any criminal actions had been committed by Boehmermann or anyone else who was involved in the airing of the poem, Reuters noted.

Even though, under German law, an insult against a foreign leader is not acceptable, it’s also up to them to decide whether to give prosecutors permission to pursue an investigation.

In this case, prosecutors pointed at the fact that the comedian, who hosts the late night “Neo Magazin Royale” talk show on the public ZDF channel, recited the poem as an example of what could be considered overstepping the boundaries of freedom of opinion, not necessarily reflecting his personal views though, Reuters noted.

“Exaggerations, distortion and alienation are characteristics of the genre of satire and caricature,” prosecutors said in a statement.

Bohmermann also defended his position, saying what was broadcasted was clearly an “exaggerated portrayal” of the Turkish president, and that “any listener should immediately recognize…that it was a joke or a piece of nonsense,” Germany’s international broadcaster Deutsche Welle (DW) reported.

Prosecutors said, according to DW, that “this stance is supported by the objectively verifiable circumstances, namely the content of the piece, its origins, and the manner of the delivery.”

Bohmermann said, according to Newsweek, that Chancellor Angela Merkel had “served me for tea” by placing him under investigation.

“The chancellor must not wobble when it’s a matter of freedom of opinion,” he told the Die Zeit Weekly.

This incident comes at a time when Germany is relying on Turkey’s assistance to stem the flow of illegal migrants to Europe, Reuters noted.

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Jan Boehmermann won't be prosecuted for a poem about Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, after German prosecutors said they dropped an investigation into accusations that Boehmermann offended the foreign leader on national television.
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Thursday, 06 Oct 2016 04:54 AM
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