26 January 2012

Prosecution is more cynical than we imagined

During her two hour long closing address, state prosecutor Friederike Dopke demanded long prison sentences for all the  
for the Prosecutor the "expert" age determination are more valid than the somali birth certificate or the letter of the mother confirming his age.
defendants today. For most of the adult defendants, she demanded 10 years, for one she demanded 7 years because of his 'good conduct' during the trial, and for one defendant she demanded 11 years. For the three juvenile defendants, she demanded 
four years, five years and five years and six months. 

We can't say that we are surprised about this. All the way through the trial, the prosecution has made it clear that they are not 
willing to believe anything the defendants say. The prosecution objected to hearing any defence witnesses and they objected to 
any application the defence made. They made absolutely no effort to investigate the circumstances that may have led the 
defendants to attack the Taipan. We had the impression all along that the closing address was written before the trial had 

What did surprise us, however is the cynicism displayed in the reasoning for the long sentences for the under-age defendants 
(one of whom produced a birth certificate showing that he was only 13 at the time of the alleged offence, but the Prosecution prefers to believe the German "Expert" in Age determination who decided that he is older than what his mother says)): only by being 
imprisoned in Germany for a along period of time could they receive some education! The situation in Somalia didn't allow for 
this. This statement, which also shows a staggering degree of racism, is particularly cynical because throughout their two year 
long imprisonment in Hamburg, the teenagers have received almost no German language lessons, despite an offer of free 
lessons from a teacher. This offer was declined by the prison management on the basis of equal opportunity: if the Somali 
inmates were to receive these language lessons, then all other inmates would also be entitled. With this in mind, it is easy to 
imagine how  the three might be denied entry to any courses the prison might offer - due to their lack of German language skills. 
trying to avoid getting  fotografed against your will