07 September 2012

Day 98: Trial ending – prosecution has given closing address

Court Report Day 98 – 6 September 2012

First, the court declined the pending application from yesterday to require the prosecution to supply the minutes of the conversations they have had with the 'crown witness'. One of the defence lawyers then announced that they had filed an appeal with the higher court (Oberlandesgericht) and demanded that the trial be paused. This also was declined by the judge who simply proceeded and announced that all the evidence had been heard and that the court would now hear the closing addresses.

Then the prosecutor gave his closing address – in record time of about half an hour. He demanded the same sentences as in February, the only change was that the 'crown witness' should be given two years less, which should be added to the alleged 'ring leader'. This would mean between four and five and a half years for the under-age defendants and between six ('crown witness') and twelve years ('ring leader') for the others. 

After lunch the defence for the youngest accused gave their closing address. They pointed to the dubious methods of age assessment and to the personal circumstances of the defendant, who had been born in a refugee camp, had lost his father and had participated in the attack on the Taipan so he could feed his mother and his siblings. They also criticised the prosecution for not taking into account the positive development of the accused since he has been in Germany. They asked for a maximum penalty of two years, which would have been served by the time spent in custody.

The closing addresses will be continued Friday, 7 September 2012, 9 am.