Does the Love Parade process end without judgment?

The Loveparade criminal case is to be terminated due to the corona crisis. This was proposed by the regional court in Duisburg on Tuesday. Due to the dynamic development of the corona pandemic, it is not foreseeable when and how the currently interrupted negotiations can be continued, the court said.

Die Loveparade kurz vor der Katastrophe.

The Love Parade shortly before the catastrophe. Photo: imago images / Reichwein

If the public prosecutor and the three defendants agree to the proposal, this would make one of the most complex post-war trials with 183 Trial days ended without judgment. Until 20. April, prosecutors and accused have time to comment.

The main hearing was in December 2017 began. The last negotiation was on March 4 2020. Just last week, the court had announced an indefinite interruption due to the Corona crisis. Negotiations may be interrupted until June at the most.

At the Love Parade on 24. July 2010 in Duisburg there was such a large crowd that 21 people were crushed. At least 652 were injured. Three employees of the organizer Lopavent are charged with negligent killing and negligent bodily harm.

The lawsuit against six employees of the city of Duisburg and another Lopavent employee had already been discontinued in the spring 2019 due to presumably low guilt without any conditions.

Pressekonferenz zur Massenpanik nach der Loveparade 2010 in Duisburg.

Press conference on mass panic after the Love Parade 2010 in Duisburg. Photo: imago images / Revierfoto

Because of the many parties to the proceedings are negotiated in a congress hall in Düsseldorf. There are currently 42 co-plaintiffs who are 29 Lawyers are represented. The three accused are represented by 12 lawyers.

Lawyer Julius Reiter criticized the proposal. It can be expected that the public prosecutor and the accused will agree to the appointment, he said. An attitude would mean that the accused cannot be held responsible. “The victims and their families are extremely disappointed. This is another black day for the victims and relatives of the Loveparade disaster. ”

Initially, the public prosecutor's office did not want to comment on the proposal.

Several participants belong to corona risk groups

The court gave several reasons for its proposal. “In the event of a continuation, the further procedure would take a considerable amount of time.” It could only be carried out to a limited extent due to the risk of corona spread. Several members of risk groups were among those involved. A further order of quarantines against parties involved in the process is possible at any time.

The court suspects that the duration of the session would be limited if the proceedings were continued. The introduction of the expert opinion, which is necessary for a judgment, would then take up numerous additional meeting days.

The court sees “endangering the parties to the proceedings”

The court emphasized that the chamber considered the results of the written report already available in included their considerations. The appraiser had told the court in writing that the evidence gathered during the main hearing did not result in any significant changes in his assessments.

It would also be required to hear several co-plaintiffs and to hear a number of psychiatric experts. Here, too, the court sees a “significant risk to all parties to the proceedings”. In addition, there would be a strong psychological burden for some co-plaintiffs.

Low probability for “conviction ready for judgment”

In the communication, the court also comments on the allegations. The board considered it probable that the defendants could be proven to have been charged with “if it were possible to continue the main trial without time restrictions”. However, this is not the case.

There is therefore only a very low probability of clarifying the accused matter “ready for judgment”. In this context, the court once again referred to the occurrence of the so-called absolute limitation of the allegations on 27. July 2020, ten years after the death of the 21. Victims.

According to all the information available to date, any culpability of the accused should be regarded as minor, it was said. The long duration of the proceedings and the constructive participation of the accused must also be taken into account. “Taking this and other circumstances into account, a possible penalty would be in the lower range of the sentence.”

If the other parties to the proceedings agree, she wants Chamber summarize their findings in a decision, present it at a time-limited, last main hearing and thus end the process. The next appointment is currently on the 21. April 2020 determined. Because of the pandemic, it is still unclear whether it can take place. (dpa)