Germany ‘takes note’ of CM Kejriwal’s arrest; India says ‘blatant interference’

Arvind Kejriwal.

Germany has “taken note” of Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal’s arrest and expects that “standards regarding the independence of the judiciary and basic democratic principles” will apply, a spokesperson said on Friday (March 22).

Sebastian Fischer, a spokesperson for Germany’s foreign ministry, was answering a question asking how the German federal government assessed Kejriwal’s arrest, that it takes place weeks before the general election and that the Indian opposition sees it as politically motivated.

“We have taken note of the case. India is a democratic country. We assume and expect that the standards relating to the independence of the judiciary and fundamental democratic principles will also apply in this case,” Fischer said according to his ministry’s website.

He added that Kejriwal is “entitled to a fair, unbiased trial”, which he said “includes the right to make use of all existing legal remedies without restriction”.

“The presumption of innocence is a central element of the rule of law and must apply to it [Kejriwal’s case],” Fischer continued to say.

Reacting to the comments of the German foreign ministry, India summoned the Deputy Head of Mission of the German Embassy, Georg Enzweiler, and lodged a strong protest, calling it a “blatant interference” in its internal affairs.Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal was on Thursday night arrested by the Enforcement Directorate in the excise policy-linked money laundering case.

The arrest, the first of a serving chief minister, came hours after the Delhi High Court refused to grant protection to the AAP national convenor from any coercive action by the central probe agency.

The case pertains to alleged corruption and money laundering in formulating and executing the Delhi government’s excise policy for 2021-22, which was later scrapped.

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