A spokesperson for the German foreign ministry said that the country has “taken note of verdict of first instance” against Rahul Gandhi as well as the suspension of his parliamentary mandate.
Saying that “fundamental democratic principles” should apply in the case of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi following his conviction in a defamation case, the Germany spokesperson said, “To our knowledge, Gandhi is in a position to appeal the verdict”.
“Appeal will make it clear if the verdict stand and whether the suspension has any basis,” added the spokesperson.
The comment came hours after External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar claimed on Wednesday that no foreign diplomat has raised with him the issue. The comments in Germany were aired by public broadcaster Deutsche Welle (DW) and shared on Twitter by Richard Walker, chief international editor of DW.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi was disqualified last week as a Member of Lok Sabha (MP) from the date of his conviction in the criminal defamation case over his ‘Modi surname’ remark. Rahul Gandhi was an MP from the seat of Wayanad in Kerala. He had made the comments during an election campaign rally in Karnataka in 2019. Gandhi is currently free on bail.
In April 2019, Rahul Gandhi said “how come all the thieves have Modi as the common surname,” at a Lok Sabha rally in Karnataka.
Earlier, US state department deputy spokesperson Vedant Patel also said that the US is tracking Gandhi’s case in Indian courts
Patel said: “Respect for the rule of law and judicial independence is a cornerstone of any democracy and we’re watching Mr Gandhi’s case in Indian courts, and we engage with the government of India on our shared commitment to democratic values, including…freedom of expression.”