Muenster, Germany (dpa) – Three Yemenis on Thursday took their court
battle one step further to sue Germany for its alleged involvement in
US drone strikes that killed relatives in their home country in 2012.
The claimants allege that Germany is jointly responsible for the
deaths of two of their family members because the United States
launched the drone strikes with the aid of Ramstein US military base
in western Germany.
US drones share information via a satellite communication station in
Ramstein, according to the claimants. They claim Germany was informed
about the construction of the station in 2010.
The trio want Germany to prevent the US from launching strikes on
Yemen, which would strain ties between the NATO partners.
Presiding Judge Wolf Sarnighausen said that the trial would be
enormous and involve many questions of constitutional and
Their complaint already failed in the first instance: A court in
Cologne ruled in 2015 that the German government is not obliged to
forbid the US from using Ramstein to launch drone attacks into
The claimants’ appeal is being heard by the Higher Administrative
Court of Muenster, in the west of Germany; the Yemenis did not appear
in court for the first day of the hearing on Thursday.
Representing Germany, the Ministry of Defence said it has no
knowledge that Ramstein is used for US drone strikes.
In 2015, a former US drone pilot testified to a parliamentary
committee that Ramstein plays a central role in the global US drone