Acquittal of the Neue Rheinische Zeitung

From Marxists-en
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Cologne, February 8. As we have already reported in some copies of yesterday’s issue, at the assizes session yesterday the case was heard against the rédacteur en chef, Marx, the editor, Engels, and the responsible publisher of the Neue Rheinische Zeitung, concerning the article dated Cologne, July 4 (in the issue of July 5, 1848[1]). The article concerned the arrest of Herr Anneke and led to a charge of libelling the police who made the arrest (Art, 367 of the Code pénal) and of insult to Chief Public Prosecutor Zweiffel (Art. 222 of the Code pénal). The defendants were acquitted by the jury after brief deliberations.

This trial, the first of the many proceedings instituted against the Neue Rheinische Zeitung, is important because this time the abovecited Articles 222 and 367 (in connection with Art. 370) were interpreted and applied in the decisions of the jury quite differently from the way done earlier by the Rhenish police courts. Except for those relating to direct instigation to civil war and rebellion, these articles are the only ones which the acumen of the Rhenish prosecution has so far succeeded in applying to the press. The jury’s verdict of acquittal is therefore a new guarantee of the freedom of the press in Rhenish Prussia.

We shall report the proceedings as soon as possible in excerpt.[2]

Today Marx again stands before the jury along with Schneider, the deputy for Cologne, and Schapper, for an appeal to refuse to pay taxes, which they issued as members of the District Committee of Democrats.[3]

  1. See the article "Arrests" (present edition, Vol. 7, pp. 177-79).— Ed.
  2. See the Neue Rheinische Zeitung No. 221, February 14, 1849. For the speeches by Marx and Engels at this trial see this volume, pp. 304-22.— Ed.
  3. See this volume, p. 41.— Ed.