The oral hearings at the Hamburg Regional Court are about statements by Wiesendanger in an interview with the magazine “Cicero”, which was published on February 2 of this year under the heading: “Does the corona virus come from the laboratory? – Mr. Drosten misled politicians and the media” was published.

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In it, Wiesendanger accused the director of the Institute of Virology at the Charité of deliberately misleading society about the origin of the corona pandemic. He also accused other international virologists, who assume the virus originated in the animal kingdom, of deliberately misleading and covering up.

He primarily referred to an open letter that 27 virologists published on February 19, 2020 in the journal “The Lancet”. In it, they rejected the claim that the virus had no natural origin as a conspiracy theory.

After the “Cicero” interview appeared, Drosten issued a warning to Wiesendanger and obtained an injunction from the Hamburg Regional Court on March 14 of this year, as a spokesman for the court said. For example, the nanoscientist should not repeat the claim that Drosten deliberately deceived the public. Wiesendanger has appealed the decision.

He is convinced that there are many indications that Sars-CoV-2 was caused by a laboratory accident at the virological institute in the Chinese city of Wuhan. Wiesendanger wants to personally represent his position in court. It is about “statements in connection with one of the most crucial questions facing humanity in the past hundred years,” he said.

Drosten initially did not comment before the hearing. A spokeswoman for the Berlin Charité reported at the beginning of March: “The interview with Mr. Wiesendanger published by “Cicero” contains a large number of inaccurate factual allegations that violate Professor Drosten’s personal rights.”

The magazine and the scientists were therefore “particularly requested to refrain from making false claims that Professor Drosten misled the public about the origin of the virus and participated in alleged cover-up actions”. After the interview appeared, Drosten described his opponent as an “extreme character” on Twitter.

The interview is currently not available online. Instead, the magazine published a statement stating that the individual points are currently being legally examined and that the substantive results of the dispute between Drosten and Wiesendanger are awaited. It is considered unlikely that the court will announce a verdict on Friday.

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