In Germany, telling someone on the internet that you will hurt and injure them if they visit you at home is apparently a valid defence for actually hitting them now.
As promised, this episode of The Private Citizen updates you on what’s been happening with Germany’s scandal YouTuber Rainer “Drachenlord” Winkler.
Please excuse my unplanned hiatus. I’m trying my best to not have this happen, but sometimes the life of a freelancer is such that I just don’t get around to record a show. Sometimes twice in a row. I will give my best to make it up to you.
Drachenlord Gets to Remain Free
In his re-trial Drachenlord Rainer Winkler has been convicted to a year on probation. This verdict isn’t final as the prosecution has initiated a revision of the case. Since they have already appealed – which is why there was a second trial and Drachenlord did not have to go to jail as was decided with the first sentence – this does not constitute a second trial.
In a revision, another judge might check if there were errors committed by the previous court, but there is no new decision handed down. If the revision goes through, there will most likely be another trial. But experts see this as a highly unlikely outcome. The expectation is that this verdict will be upheld. Which means the Drachenlord will go free once more.
How could this happen? After all, he was convicted to two years in prison in October for aggravated assault and insulting police officers (among other things). Well, it seems two of the witnesses called by the prosecution (both of which were already witnesses at the first trial) behaved very badly. Once of them got very drunk and was arrested for assaulting a police officer in front of the court after his testimony but while the trial was still going on. This was communicated to the judge, who handed down a one year probation sentence instead of the two years of jail that the subordinate court had decided one.
With any sentence less than two years, the court can just decide on probation without having to justify it to the public. It is nonetheless highly unusual that a person gets a probationary sentence in two consecutive legal proceedings dealing essentially with the same charges.
Winkler had already been on probation from an earlier trial a few years ago and, as the court heard again in these proceedings, consistently flaunted all of the probationary rules handed down by the court in his first conviction.
A Curious Defence
The most interesting aspect of this trial, in my opinion, is the defence Winkler’s lawyer brought against the aggravated assault charge: Drachenlord says on the internet that if people visit him at home, he’ll hurt them. Which means they have to expect it and then can’t complain or bring charges against Winkler if it actually happens. If I understand this correctly – I’m obviously not a lawyer – this is an actual legal concept. Because of this, contestants in a boxing competition can’t sue other contestants for assault, for example. In this case, it’s a very questionable argument, though. But the judge seems to have bought it. Does that mean Winkler can now just assault people for no reason and get away scott-free?
Keeping Up with the Winklers
After getting off with a probation, Drachenlord has continued his homeless lifestyle. He’s still travelling around in his car, but apparently now has a girlfriend who he immediately showed to the world in a video on 1 April. Despite the date, it’s apparently not a joke. She actually does seem to be in a relationship with him.
Drachenlord with his girlfriend (Source: Drachen Lord YouTube channel)
Since his toxic community immediately found his car at his girlfriend’s home in Dortmund, both of them had to leave and now seem to be travelling around the south Germany close to his old home. It’s worrying and also a bit curious how another person has apparently voluntarily agreed to join Drachenlord in his horrible lifestyle.
It remains to be seen how compatible this lifestyle is with complying to probation requirements or if the court will, once again, be okay with Winkler simply ignoring those. Naturally, I will continue to follow this story and let you know about any interesting developments.
I’ve got quite a bit of feedback from several people on my recent Ukraine episode. It’s actually been enough to warrant its own episode where I address some of the points raised by producers. So I will devote the next episode to this.
If you have any thoughts on the things discussed in this or previous episodes, please join our forum and compare notes with other producers. You can also contact me in several other, more private ways.
If you are writing in from Russia, you might want to use my whistleblower contact form.
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