A German court has ruled that authorities acted illegally by removing environmental activists' treehouses from Hambach Forest. The ruling came after one former treehouse dweller lodged a complaint.
Environmentalists had been living in the last remnant of the ancient forest for years in a bid to stop it being destroyed to make way for an open-cast mine.
Ruling came in response to a complaint by one former treehouse resident. Court said that the argument used by authorities at the time was a pretext for removing activists. The ruling came in reply to a complaints by one ex-treehouse resident, according to the German DPA news agency.
The order to clear the forest originally came from the government of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), the state in which the forest is situated. The police operation, one of the largest-ever in the state, drew massive media attention.
The Hambach surface mine, operated by energy giant RWE, is the largest of its kind in Europe. The company has argued that removing the forest was necessary to meet Germany's energy needs. A number of villages have also fallen victim to the mine and its continued expansion.