As Deutsche Welle reports, Germany is anxious to clarify its involvement with a refugee but poor health, which many assumed to be a result of the time in detention in the country.
During Schreiber’s imprisonment in March last year, China accused the German embassy in Beijing and a humanitarian organization; the publication his letters had been censored shortly after his arrest by Chinese authorities. The federal prosecutor’s office in Berlin has now announced its involvement in the case.
“The announcement confirms that the federal prosecutor will, in the course of the investigation, focus on the cases of Mr. Schreiber’s/his company and also on the decision to surveil and detain, in December 2013, two employees of the German embassy for several hours. In this context, the Federal Prosecutor’s Office will initiate an investigation to determine whether Mr. Schreiber was mistreated in detention,” a statement said. It added that the statement had not been prepared at random.
Schreiber was detained in March last year as Xi Jinping was beginning his eight-year term as president of China. He was held with his family in an apartment at Yuyao Tower, a luxury hotel in Beijing where the German embassy plays host to top government correspondents.
The Federal Prosecutor’s Office will decide which public servants of the German government may be part of the investigation and will have an overview of the duration of Schreiber’s detention. The investigation will take “the form of a full investigation on all the topics mentioned in the immunity and criticism of prosecutors” that Schreiber has faced in China, the statement said.
The German embassy in Beijing is also not part of the investigation, the German federal prosecutor’s office stressed.
“Alexander Schreiber, as an employee of Germany’s embassy in China, and also as president of a company, will not be involved in the examination and investigation by the Federal Prosecutor’s Office,” a spokesman for German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s office, Steffen Seibert, told the DW.
“The Federal Prosecutor’s Office will only supervise the investigative work of Mr. Schreiber. We will not intervene in the investigation either prosecution by the Federal Prosecutor’s Office in China,” Seibert said.
‘Please go home’
Shortly after his detention by Chinese authorities in December 2013, Schreiber, also chairman of S2C Austria Holding A/S, wrote a letter of protest to his wife and saw his ADAC Real Estate Holdings A/S shares decline by 5 percent in Frankfurt on Thursday. The German company is reportedly facing ongoing claims of mismanagement in China as well as lost investments on account of the focus on prosecuting Schreiber.
‘Please go home’
It was Schreiber’s father Robert who told the Chinese chancellor earlier this week that his son should leave China. The Schreiber family regular live in New York.
The German Communist Party (CDU) prides itself that it will be taken seriously in cases involving German politicians, and Schreiber can expect a harsh treatment if he is to be extradited to China to face criminal charges.