E.I.R., Feb. 1, 1977.
European Labor Party Executive Committee members Anno Hellenbroich and Jurgen Spahn were fined 24,000 deutschemarks ($10,000) by the Second Criminal Chamber of the State Court in Wiesbaden, West Germany, for "spreading facts" about Willy Brandt, the chairman of the West German Social Democratic Party.
The Jan.'26 court decision upheld a previous conviction of the two Labor Party leaders for "injuring and politically slandering Willy Brandt" by printing information in the Labor Party's German-language weekly, Neue Solidaritat, showing Brandt to be an agent of the U.S. CIA and a Nuremberg criminal. In this, as in others in the series of lawsuits brought by Brandt against the Labor Party, the West German courts have so far upheld feudal legal traditions which hold that truth is not a sufficient defense against claims of slander and libel.
In this week's decision on the Labor Party's appeal, the State Court dismissed the original conviction's sentence of six months' probation, but increased the fine from $1,600.
In their four-day appeals trial, the two defendants submitted as evidence numerous international; publications confirming Brandt's career as an agent of the CIA, along with official U.S. State| Department documents naming Brandt as a paid "informer" of the CIA's predecessor, the Office of Strategic Services.
Hellenbroich and Spahn immediately announced! that they will take their appeal conviction to a higher court.