BERLIN (Dispatches) – A German court has annulled a de facto export ban on a producer of armored vehicles to the Saudi regime which the government had imposed following the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
The German government authority for exports control had failed to meet formal requirements when it withdrew an export permission for 110 armored vehicles to the Royal Saudi Land Forces, an administrative court in Frankfurt said.
The court did not identify the company that had brought the case and said the ruling was not yet definitive and could still be appealed.
The economy ministry, which supervises the exports supervision office, was not immediately available for comment.
The ban was initially put in place over humanitarian concerns with the war with Yemen in 2017, then tightened last year after Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul in Octoberlast year.
Saudi Arabia and its regional allies in the Middle East have been leading a deadly military aggression against the people of Yemen since March 2015, using weapons and intelligence supplied by Western countries, most notably the United States, France, Britain and Canada.
Merkel’s government had come under pressure from many conservatives at home to end the ban, who argue that a continued ban could jeopardize projects such as the development of a Franco-German combat jet and other arms deals.
The arms ban, however, has been praised by human rights advocates, who said it had more effect than expected.
Despite international outrage over both the Khashoggi murder and the war in Yemen, however, most countries have decided to maintain profitable arms deals with Riyadh.