Former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder Friday sued the German Bundestag for stripping his office space privileges. Schröder’s lawyers Michael Nagel and Ralph Heiermann said that they filed suit on behalf of Schröder at the Berlin Administrative Court but did not release more details.
The Bundestag removed Schröder’s right to office space in May when it determined that former Chancellors should not be entitled to office space if they no longer perform official duties. Schröder has received intense scrutiny for his business ties to Russia, including being nominated for a seat on the board of Russian gas giant Gazprom, and Russian President Vladimir Putin. In May, the European Parliament asked the EU to sanction Schröder for his Russian connections. Members of Schröder’s political party, the SPD, also tried to expel him for similar reasons but were unsuccessful.
Nagel and Heiermann disputed the Bundestag’s assertion that Schröder was no longer performing official duties. They said in their press release that the German government’s decision to strip Schröder of his office space was “arbitrary” and “reminiscent of an absolutist princely state.” The lawyers also said they hope “the legal issues raised will only be discussed in court and not via the media, also in the interest of the defendants.”