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Germany constitutional court rules pre-Iraq war flight missions unconstitutional

[JURIST] Germany's Federal Constitutional Court [official website, in German] Wednesday ruled [judgment, in German; press release, in German] that German surveillance flights over Turkey conducted in 2003 during the lead-up to the Iraq War were unconstitutional. The court held that the flights equated to "armed deployment," and thus needed to first be approved by the German Bundestag [official website], the lower house of the German parliament. Former Chancellor Gherhard Schroeder's government had said that the flights were a routine NATO operation which did not require parliamentary approval.

The Bundestag has granted approval for recent German military missions around the world, including Afghanistan, Bosnia, Kosovo and the Horn of Africa. Germany has also assisted in training Iraqi security forces, but not on Iraqi soil. Deutsche Welle has more. Xinhua has additional coverage.

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