The Duisburg Regional Court on Monday resumed the trial on the accident at the Loveparade 2010 with 21 deaths discontinued. In the case of the last three remaining defendants, the court had previously amed only slight guilt. One of the most costly criminal trials of the post-war period thus ends after 184 days of hearings without a verdict. On Monday, following the announcement of the decision, the chamber still wanted to present its findings from the proceedings.
The trial was about the fatal injuries of 21 young people during a crowd at the Love Parade in Duisburg in July 2010. More than 650 people were injured. Some suffer the consequences to this day. Because of the many parties involved in the proceedings, the trial was held in a large hall of the Dusseldorf Congress Center.
Loveparade trial: charges of involuntary manslaughter and bodily injury
Three executives of the organizer Lopavent were last in the dock. They are now 43, 60 and 67 years old. The proceedings against six employees of the City of Duisburg and another Lopavent employee had already been discontinued more than a year ago, also without conditions.
The charge was negligent homicide and negligent bodily injury. Among other things, those involved are alleged to have committed serious planning errors.
Discontinuation of trial cannot be appealed
At the beginning of April 2020, the regional court had proposed that the proceedings also be discontinued for the three remaining defendants. It justified this, among other things, with expected Corona restrictions and the foreseeable expiry of the statute of limitations on the allegation of homicide at the end of July.
The public prosecutor's office and the three defendants had agreed to it. Relatives of fatalities spoke out as joint plaintiffs against discontinuation of proceedings. However, their consent was not legally required. The discontinuation order is unappealable.
Coronavirus blew up Love Parade trial schedule
In the case of the three remaining defendants, a discontinuation against a fine had already been in the offing in February 2019. However, they refused. He did not want to give up his right to be acquitted, one defendant had said at the time as a reason.
So for the remaining three defendants, it was business as usual – until a few weeks ago when the coronavirus blew up the schedule. After the last time on 4. The trial, which had been scheduled for March, was interrupted in mid-March when a judge was quarantined as a precautionary measure. In early April, the court then proposed the termination.
Expert opinion had already been available to all parties since 2018
The next step was originally the introduction of the 3800-page expert report of the expert Prof. Jurgen Gerlach planned. It has already been available in writing to all those involved since December 2018.
In the expert opinion, the traffic expert had stated that the accident could have been prevented already in the planning phase. Already in the run-up to the event there had been several indications that the event site was not suitable for the expected crowds of visitors.