Case 04: Sig Sauer

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The press release on the pronouncement of judgement on 03.04.2019
District court in Kiel convicts managers of arms manufacturer Sig Sauer for illegal arms exports to Colombia
Positive confiscation of company profits – Suspended sentences too mild

The German Campaign to Stop the Arms Trade ”Aktion Aufschrei – Stoppt den Waffenhandel!“ welcomes the high sum that will be confiscated from Sig Sauer. However, the suspended sentences that were granted in a plea agreement, taste more than foul. The campaign believes a general export embargo on small arms is overdue.
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Successful Criminal Complaint by German

“Action Outcry - Stop The Arms Trade”

Against SIG Sauer


Chronology of the legal export of more than 38,000 guns

from Germany to the US and the illegal shipment from

there to Colombia


The defendants

Michael Lüke, Robert Lackermeier und Ron Judah Cohen

have been found guilty by the district court in Kiel

- 3 KLs 3/18 - 545 Js 48550/13 -


Compiled by Jürgen Grässlin,

who filed the initial criminal complaint for

the “Action Outcry - Stop The Arms Trade”



April 12th, 2019

The attorneys of the SIG-Sauer managers have appealed the district court’s verdict. At the same time, the attorney oft he arms manufacturer did the same, according to a court spokesperson.

[Source: „Revision gegen Urteil für Ex-Manager von Sig Sauer eingelegt“, DIE WELT online vom 12.04.2019]


April 3rd, 2019

The international media responded predominantly negatively to the plea agreement between the DA and the three illegal arms dealers. In a press release, the spokespeople of the German “Outcry Campaign - Stop The Arms Trade”, ”Aktion Aufschrei – Stoppt den Waffenhandel!“ welcome the high sum that will be confiscated from Sig Sauer. “However, the suspended sentences that have been granted under the plea agreement leave us with a foul aftertaste.“.

This significant trial against further prominent representatives of the arms industry was initiated by a criminal complained filed by the „Aktion Aufschrei – Stoppt den Waffenhandel“ from 2014. The Campaign was represented by the lawyer Holger Rothbauer. “This verdict is another important mile stone towards criminal accountability for the greed-driven export of small arms, these weapons of mass destruction, into war zones,” said Rothbauer.

After the Heckler & Koch trial, this verdict is another victory for the Campaign to Stop the Arms trade and the peace movement. However, the plea deal under which the prosecution agreed to suspended sentences for the perpetrators is a slap in the face of countless victims in South America,” says Jürgen Grässlin, who filed the criminal complaint for the Campaign to Stop the Arms Trade in 2014. „As in the trial against Heckler & Koch I welcome the high sum of more than 11 million Euros, which is to be confiscated from Sig Sauer. This should serve as a warning to other arms companies in Germany that illegal exports to regions of conflict have consequences,“ commented Christine Hoffmann, secretary general of pax Christi and spokesperson of the “Aktion Aufschrei – Stoppt den Waffenhandel!”.

“Both the Heckler & Koch case as well as the trial against Sig Sauer officials show that the end-use of small arms cannot be controlled,” adds Charlotte Kehne, advisor on armsexport control for “Ohne Rüstung Leben” and spokesperson for the “Aktion Aufschrei – Stoppt den Waffenhandel!”. “An export prohibition for small and light weapons as well as ammunition is overdue.”

[Source: „Gewinnabschöpfung positiv – Bewährung zu milde / Landgericht Kiel verurteilt Führungskräfte des Waffenherstellers SIG Sauer wegen illegaler Waffenlieferungen nach Kolumbien“, Pressemitteilung der „Aktion Aufschrei – Stoppt den Waffenhandel!“ vom 03.04.2019]


April 3rd, 2019:

Pronouncement of judgement before the Kiel District court – A deal is struck between the prosecution and the three defendants from SIG-Sauer: The trial before the District Court in Kiel ends with suspended sentences and fines for the three defendants Lüke, Lackermeier and Cohen. The three men have previously confessed and are now sentenced to suspended sentences between 10 and 18 months, as well as fines of 60,000 Euros (Lackermeier) and 600,000 (Lüke, Cohen). More than 11 Million Euros are to be confiscated from the company group.

The court found the three SIG-Sauer managers guilty of having illegally shipped more than 38,000 SP 2022 guns from the U.S. to Colombia, which, at the time, was still embroiled in a bloody civil war. The weapons had been part of a larger shipment of 47,000 guns, that were exported from Germany to the U.S. between 2009 and 2011.


April 2019

The dossier „Sig Sauer guns in Columbia“, created by the global childrens aid organisation terre des hommes, a member of the „Aktion Aufschrei – Stoppt den Waffenhandel!“ is published. The study shows that SIG-Sauer guns such as the SP 2022  have proliferated widely in Columbia. The small arms have been sold illegally and ended up in the hands of illegal armed groups. Paramilitary groups, guerillas, drug cartels, criminals and army officials have used them for crimes, some of which involved minors.


For media requests and interviews (in Germany and Columbia):

Please contact the terre des hommes press office: Phon. 0049-541-7101-126, Email:



Peace movement protest (DFG-VK, Friedensbündnis Kiel, and Aktion Aufschrei) at the first day of trial

against three SIG Sauer managers on February 26th, 2019 in front of the district court in Kiel, Germany

Photo: GN-STAT


February 26th, 2019

Commencement of the trial against the SIG Sauer managers Michael Lüke, Robert Lackermeier and Ron Judah Cohen before the district court in Kiel. Already on the first day the prosecution announced that a deal had been made with the defendants. Fines and suspended sentences were to be granted in turn for an admission of guilt and comprehensive testimony.


January 2019:

The district court in Kiel admits the indiciment based on our criminal complaint against three SIG Sauer managers. Consequently, the hearings can commence. The transfer of guns from Germany tot he USA was legal. The court is set to deliberate on the alleged illegal resale of more than 38,000 SP-2022 guns from the USA to Columbia in 99 cases.