Report from Elsa Rassbach in Germany:
The Yemeni drone strike survivors did not prevail in the German court case in Cologne yesterday. We did not anticipate that they would prevail in a lower court in such an important matter. However, there was some precedent-setting progress:
a) The court ruled that the Yemeni survivors, who are not German citizens, have standing to sue the German government in the German courts. As far as we know, this is the first NATO country that has granted drone victims who are not citizens such standing.
b) The court stated that the media reports (see Intercept) about the essential role of Ramstein in the U.S. drone killings are “plausible,” the first time that this has been officially acknowledged by authorities Germany.
c) The court immediately stated that the plaintiffs could appeal, and they will do so as soon as the full written decision of the court in Cologne is available (in about three months).
I was there in the court yesterday, interviewed the attorneys, and will report more as soon as I am able. Meanwhile there have been many news reports in German on the court case (often critical of the court’s decision) and here is a good one in English:
Court dismisses claim of German complicity in Yemeni drone killings