Germany's chief prosecutor has dismissed an appeal filed by Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan against an earlier ruling that scrapped an investigation regarding a satirist who mocked the Turkish leader.
The chief public prosecutor’s office in Koblenz, western Germany, said in a statement on Friday that Erdogan’s appeal was "unfounded." It upheld an earlier ruling to drop the case against comedian Jan Boehmermann.
Erdogan had accused Boehmermann of insulting him and filed a complaint against the satirist over reciting a "defamatory poem" that satirically accused the Turkish president of bestiality and pedophilia.
Boehmermann said the TV sketch was in reaction to Turkey's decision to summon the German ambassador over another song aired on German TV that satirized Erdogan.
Prosecutors in the western city of Mainz dropped the probe into the insult case against Boehmermann earlier this month.
"There is no evidence that the accused was making a serious attack on the personal or social reputation of the Turkish president," the prosecutors said on October 4.
Under pressure from Erdogan, German Chancellor Angela Merkel allowed prosecutors to pursue a case against Boehmermann, triggering a backlash in German media. Many criticized Merkel, saying she had bowed to Erdogan’s pressure to ensure a deal reached between the European Union and Turkey on refugees could work.
German prosecutors will decide in November on another aspect of the complaint filed by Erdogan, which demands a ban on the republication of the entire poem.
Parts of the poem was deemed insulting to Erdogan and a German court in May banned republication of 18 of the 24 sections, saying they amounted to abuse and libel.
The appeal is the second one related to the poem to be rejected by the German judiciary.
In June, Erdogan lost an appeal in a German court, where he had demanded an injunction against a major German publisher over the support Mathias Doepfner, the chief executive of newspaper publisher Axel Springer, had expressed for the insulting poem.
Erdogan sued Doepfner after the chief executive of the publisher expressed his support for Boehmermann.
The appeals court said Doepfner’s comments constituted acceptable expressions of opinion and were protected under Germany’s freedom of speech laws.