Germany's minister of defence proposes to shoot down hijacked planes

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Franz-Josef Jung.
Image: de.w:98102..

Germany's minister of defence, Franz-Josef Jung (CDU), has proposed to shoot down planes hijacked by terrorists.

Although the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany decided in February 2006 that shooting down a hijacked plane would only be lawful if there were no innocent passengers on the plane, Jung announced in public that he would give the order to attack if the basic principles of the constitution were in danger or if the plane posed a tremendous threat to the people. Representatives of the grand coalition differed in their views regarding this question. A member of the Social Democrat Party disagreed with Jung and advised him against contradicting the court's judgment. The opposition in parliament even called Jung an "enemy of the constitution" and called for him to resign.

Jung was supported by members of his own party which underlined the necessity of shooting down a hijacked plane in order to save thousands of lives. The dispute between the two coalition partners concerning new laws to ensure the security of Germany remains unresolved.

The pilots of the German airforce have made it clear that they won't bring down a hijacked plane due to fundamental legal and moral doubts.

In the United States and other European countries such as France, Great Britain or the Czech Republic laws were passed which give the government permission to shoot down a passenger plane under the control of terrorists.

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