DThe new cannabis law contributed to the acquittal of a Mannheim man who allegedly transported a total of around 450 kilograms of marijuana from Spain to Germany. The district court of the city of Baden-Württemberg announced on Friday that the crimes cannot be proven. In this case, the so-called Encrochat data could no longer be used due to the new legal situation.

The suspected criminals communicated across Europe using Encrochat mobile phones equipped with special software. French and Dutch investigators, working with EU authorities Europol and Eurojust, managed to hack the program in 2020. It made it possible to track the cell phones of tens of thousands of suspects. As a result of the decryption, thousands of criminal proceedings were initiated in Germany.

Cannabis crimes are no longer “serious crimes.”

The Federal Court ruled in March 2022 that the data could be used to solve serious crimes. These included those crimes for which an internet search or acoustic surveillance of a dwelling could be ordered. According to the Mannheim court, this list no longer contains claims related to the new cannabis regulations.

These included only supposedly more serious cases – this would have happened, for example, if the man had allegedly acted as a member of a gang or was armed. The district court explained that there was no longer sufficient grounds for using Encrochat's data.

The defendant's original confession was later retracted and was insufficiently qualified. Furthermore, there is no evidence to justify a conviction. At the same time, the district court pointed out that the defendant is still in custody – there was still an arrest warrant for another case.