Court delays jail term for man accused of incest

2nd March 2007, Comments 0 comments

2 March 2007, Karlsruhe, Germany (dpa) - Germany's top court said Friday it was ordering a delay in the punishment of a man who has fathered four children by his sister, and judges are to consider whether the ban on incest is legal. Court officials said an injunction temporarily protecting 30-year-old Patrick S from jail would be issued in the course of the day and would apply till the Federal Constitutional Court has ruled on his claim that he has a right to commit incest. S lives with his sister, Susan K

2 March 2007

Karlsruhe, Germany (dpa) - Germany's top court said Friday it was ordering a delay in the punishment of a man who has fathered four children by his sister, and judges are to consider whether the ban on incest is legal.

Court officials said an injunction temporarily protecting 30-year-old Patrick S from jail would be issued in the course of the day and would apply till the Federal Constitutional Court has ruled on his claim that he has a right to commit incest.

S lives with his sister, Susan K, 22, in the city of Leipzig. They have had four daughters, two of whom are handicapped, though prosecutors have not been able to prove that the handicaps were caused by the genetic abnormalities often associated with incest.

S has already received a suspended jail term for incest, has served a 25-month actual jail term and now faces a 30-month sentence because he refuses to end the relationship. The sister has received a first conviction of incest and was placed on probation for one year.

The brother and sister have posed in the German media for romantic photos together and some Berlin politicians have supported them, contending that incest may be immoral but should not be punished by law.

The couple did not grow up together, but first met in 2000 when Patrick S, who had been adopted, looked up his birth mother and first met his sister. The relationship began when the sister was 16. Under German law, incest is only punishable after the age of 18.

The constitutional court in the city of Karlsruhe has the task of deciding whether German laws conform with the constitution.

The siblings have retained a professor of criminal law, Knut Amelung, who will argue that a ban on sex between siblings breaches their civil rights and is a "relic of the past." An appeal court in Dresden rejected a similar appeal by the man last month.

The sister has also had a child by another man whom she met while Patrick S was in jail.

DPA

Subject: German news

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