08.04.2020 – 23rd day of trial – Hitler imitations(?!)
Admission controls have become faster since the corona restrictions. The 6 spectators, who are still allowed to enter at the same time, do not have to share the already much too narrow anteroom with the airlock with one official. They are now all behind one window for observation. For this purpose, the ID cards are copied neatly and the data is stored. Only for the Corona case… Recently the spectators are no longer allowed to sit down in the hall and wait until the court officials arrive on its elevated chairs, but instead they wait in the corridor in front of the door. Why? Like so many other things. It’s unclear. New order, no explanation. The trial starts, the chairwoman explains that another bias claim has been filed against the professional judges, but the trial continues. The defenders of the other two defendants don’t know the motion, of course the chairperson Paust-Schlote doesn’t care. She refuses to respond to a request already filed for a recess „because she was rejected“. She is not interested in the absurdity of wanting to continue questioning witnesses on the one hand, and avoiding responding to the request on the other, and she is not interested in justifying both with the motions of rejection on the grounds of bias. This ambivalence becomes even clearer: the Chairwoman is very happy to restrict public access and has all identity cards copied – to protect against the spread of the virus. But to change the seating arrangement in such a way that an adequate protection is possible and at the same time minimising the risk of infection for those present is too much of a strain for her. Furthermore, the one accused, who is not imprisoned, still has to go to the cops once a week during the weeks without trial in order to report. That the chairwoman does not seem to be bothered to think of how she might be spreading the virus, as she coughs extensively into her hand again to hand out papers shortly after. Otherwise everything is the same, verbal fights of rebuke are directed exclusively to the lawyers, even if Schakau interrupts the judge and speaks to her, she does not defend herself. The promise that the lawyers can always have an interruption for a short meeting because of the new seating arrangement is revised. The defence shall try to persuade the President or the Chamber to take a position on the grounds given by them, but they shall not do so and shall give reasons for the orders and decisions without responding to the grounds of the defence. The „content“ of the self-reading procedure is read out, i.e. only the titles and references. As a spectator one has no chance to understand what this is all about. Furthermore, there is the announcement that the search report of the 6th house search of the proceedings will be read out. Then there is a bizarre interlude > The representative of the Attorney General’s Office Schakau accuses one of the defense attorneys of having done an imitation of Hitler („with a barking voice“) of him during a break on the last day of the trial. When the defense counsel takes up this accusation and requests that it be recorded, Schakau rows back again; he cannot remember when it happened and how exactly! But he insists that it happened. The lawyers cannot remember the incident (like everyone else, by the way). There is a break so that everyone can read the search report, and decisions are to be made as to which parts of it can be read out and which parts the witnesses must be heard on. Surprisingly, the chairwoman here, for once, responds to 2 suggestions from the lawyers. But when it is about the removal of the opinions and conclusions given by the pigs – because they are not facts – she would rather not do that. They were somehow part of the report. That is – surprise – objected by the defense. So the day was over for today. Next trial date: 09.04.2020 (The last before the next 3-week break)
17.02.2020 – 12th day of trial – What was the question again?
The continuation of the examination of witnesses is postponed due to a request from the defence, which requests that the court completes the file. In the grounds for the motion, the court refers primarily to photographs of allegedly seized objects, on which the investigation and prosecution rely heavily. It is stated that the „photo folder“ that the cop P. had made according to his testimony can hardly be identical with the collection of loose sheets of paper that was attached to „the“ file. Pictures appear twice in the file, some of them are paginated, others are not; there is no indication of the originality of the photos; finally, the deletion of the pictures on the mobile phone (i.e. the destruction of evidence) by P. makes the time of taking the pictures and the actual number of photos taken untraceable, and thus also the investigative process as such. In the end, nobody can say how arbitrary the assignment of the photographed objects to certain persons is. If, against this background, the completeness of the files is not called into question and the „loose sheet collection“ is equated with the „photo folder“, then the conspicuous features mentioned should, however, be seen as a „massive attack on the truth of the files“, according to the defence. The General Prosecutor’s Office (GenStA) is content to point out that the police are not obliged to keep a chronology when compiling the files and that gaps in the file could be closed by questioning the witness waiting outside the door. The pig, P. then also enters the courtroom after the Chamber rejects the application on the grounds that there are no indications that the file is incomplete. He has to leave the door again immediately, because the defence of the presiding judge asks the question whether it might be appropriate to instruct the witness under Article 55 (i.e. that he does not have to make statements which incriminates him). In the absence of P., the Chamber follows the position of the GenStA, which does not want to see any evidence that the witness had made himself liable to prosecution – although he deleted the photos in question, and this possibly not by chance after he was summoned to court as a witness, and although it is unclear how the MoPo (local Hamburg newspaper) was able to print a photo in November 2019 that is very similar to the photos of P. When it finally comes to the questioning of witnesses, the defence hardly gets any answers to the questions asked about the events and background of the identity check, because the cop has lost his memory to an alarming degree. When asked whether there was possibly a restriction known to him, P. feels personally offended. And fished his second ace from up his sleeve: the „police tactics“, which did not allow him to answer the questions. After repeated intermediate consultations without the witness, the witness is therefore given the homework at the end of the day of the trial, he has to clarify what is covered by his permission to testify and what is not. 2nd protocol 17.02.2020 10 a.m. At the beginning of today’s trial day, there are initially about 25 people in the courtroom, later on there are just over 30. Today the setting has changed – the large security room is now occupied by a rocker trial, which is why today’s trial day has again been moved to the smaller security room 288 (nevertheless the same entrance via side and lock). In the staircase today there are only a handful of cops spread out, sharing cough drops, creating an uncomfortable atmosphere and apparently still not realising what an incredibly stupid job they have chosen. The densely packed three rows of chairs leave no more room here than for about 30 people. Although we are closer to our friends here, there is a „security screen“ that separates us, and the comrades have to sit with their backs to us, which limits the moments of communication and solidarity gestures. But we are happy that the two inmates can enjoy big bottles of smoothies. The trial begins, which shows that the intercom in this room seems to be even more antiquated than in the big hall and the sound quality leaves a lot to be desired. At the beginning, updated e-files are distributed, then the questioning of the cop witness Pahl is to continue. The defense requests to postpone this, immediately followed by the heated objection of senior public prosecutor Schakau, who is once again not interested in the reasons for the request. Defence laywer Kienzle gives reasons: There is a violation of the completeness and truthfulness of the files. He also requests complete inspection of the files and refers to the application for the use of the documents filed on January 10, 2020. The questioning is about the photos taken by the cop Pahl on the night of the arrest of our friends of the objects allegedly found with them. As it turned out before, these photos no longer exist in the original, as pig, Pahl had deleted them as a precaution before handing in his service mobile phone – coincidentally in January this year. The defence refers to the contradictions found in the file regarding these photos: Thus, cop witness Pahl declares them to be a „photo folder“ attached to the file. The file, however, contains only a „seizure report“; photos, on the other hand, appear in various places in the file, some of them in duplicate, without context, partly drawn by „Saleti“ (Pahl’s cop colleague), many of them without any drawing at all, without dating and finally without any trace of their authenticity. Pig, Pahl had already testified that he could not remember – how many photos he had taken and he could not say whether the photos in the file were his photographs. The defence states: „What has been created for the proceedings must not be withheld“ and thus refers to the missing „photo folder“ (instead there is only a „loose sheet collection“) and the irreversibly deleted data of the original photos. The file thus becomes a „storyboard for the greatest possible burden on the accused“, only in this way can it be explained – according to the defence – „why material was divided and robbed of its context“. The assumption is also made that, since three identical sheets of the file are found at completely different points in the file, it is possible that two different files could be kept by the cops under the same file number. The prosecutor continues to insist on continuing the questioning and absurdly speaks of a „legend of an incomplete file that should be maintained“ and once again accuses the defense of delaying tactics. (Which, by the way, they have already rejected as abstruse at one of the previous appointments, pointing out that in view of the ongoing detention of two of our friends this cannot be a concern). A dispute ensues between the defense and the prosecution as to whether the completeness of the file should be discussed through the examination of witnesses or outside it. For the first time, Schakau blows out his favourite sentence of today, in which his repulsiveness is revealed: „If you are serious about all this, why are your clients still in custody, why don’t you file a complaint about their arrest? Angry and appropriate, however, the defense counters with: „Quite simply – because you are fighting tooth and nail against a release! When Schakau later repeats his insult, the defense points out that he should refrain from presenting the defence as incompetent towards the accused vehicles. Past points of contention such as the question of the order in which the witnesses are questioned appear (defence: „It would make sense to hear Mr. Massner first“). Judge Paust-Schlote nevertheless rejects the defense’s requests and decides that Witness Pahl should continue to be questioned. In the course of the trial day, however, it becomes apparent that this cannot proceed smoothly, since the cop witness has to leave the courtroom again and again in order to address the numerous problems that arise during the questioning (such as: absolutely insufficient memory of the witness). The defence objects to the judge’s decision. Pig, Pahl enters the hearing room with proudly swollen chest and in a bulletproof vest, in order to do one thing above all else in all essential places in the further course: allegedly not to remember or to protect an alleged „police tactic“. The defense suggests that the Chamber advise the witness Pahl that he could be guilty and not have to testify. Indeed, it was strongly assumed that Pahl had deleted the photos from the official mobile phone only after receiving the summons to testify. Furthermore, the question arises how the MoPo got the picture it published on 25.11.2019, which is very similar to the pictures in the file, when Pahl was the only one who had access to the photos at that time. This too is rejected and the witness is questioned. The defence is now concentrating on finding out why and how the cop, Pahl was able to get to the location regarding the night of the arrest. In the process, considerable memory gaps repeatedly arise in Pahl’s memory: He allegedly no longer remembers the number of cops present at the location, or the arrest report he made. Pahl says that he only had contact with his bull colleague Saleti and his superior Kuhn. And with his cop colleague Winkler, with whom he had carried out the „identity check“. And then suddenly a Bullette, Scottish, appears in Pahl’s memory. The LKA7 gave the order for the operation. The questioning then continues to be about where – in a „writing room of the PK23“ – Pahl had written the „report“ and whether there were any objects (besides equipment and computer) in it. Again, Pahl does not remember. Instead, it soon turns out that the alleged „report“ is in fact a criminal complaint that Pahl had filed. This emphasises the essential importance of the bullshit and its activities, because the proceedings are essentially based on this criminal complaint. Pig, Siebensohn had given the order to file the charge. The defence is once again astonished by the pig’s vivid memory, which stops right after the objects are photographed and cannot say anything about their further whereabouts, except that he did not take them with him. Furthermore, it turns out that Pahl\’s „report“ had been „proofread“ by the „duty officer on duty“. Whichever guard dog exactly is supposed to denote this. It was about grammar and spelling. The LKA7 had then taken over the objects and arranged where, Pahl did not know. The defence now begins to question the cop witness about his background and training. After all, pig Pahl is only a tender 24 years old. It is essentially a question of when Pahl completed his training and whether he received training as a witness in this training. It starts now with Pahl constantly addressing the judge to make sure that he has to answer the questions asked by the defence. The defence points out that this question is essential to the assessment of the evidence. The judge agrees in this case. The defence asks the witness, after persistent memory lapses, whether he has limitations on his memory. Cop Pahl considers this a „personal attack on my person“. The defence feels compelled to question the extent to which these proceedings can be based on the testimony of a witness who cannot remember the whole time. Schakau considers this to be „a trick“. Schakau – in the presence of Pahl – acts as his patron saint. The question of the position and significance of cop witnesses and the partisanship of the prosecution becomes clear. In further questioning, the defence tries to gain more detailed information about the course of the night of the arrest. But much more than the fact that PK21 is the „home office“ of Pig, Pahl, and the criminal complaint was written on PK23, cannot be found out by Pahl. The question about the reason for the so-called „priority operation“ is rejected by bull Pahl with reference to some „police tactics“ which have to be kept secret, he therefore could not answer it. Again, the witness has to be sent out so that the defense and the rest of those present can debate whether this question is admissible or not. It is found admissible. It was a „special mission for the second anniversary of the G20.“ Pahl rejects the question of the vehicle with which he arrived at the place in question, as he does not want to betray any „police tactics“. It is remarkable that memory gaps and „police tactics“ sometimes seem to be equivalent for Pig Pahl. The trial concludes with the fact that pig Pahl should find out whether this question (about the vehicle) is excluded from his right to testify or not in order to continue the next day. Finally, it is briefly about the time limit for filing an objection against the self-reading procedure provided by the Board. The trial date on 5.3. is cancelled. The „short date“ scheduled for 25.3. is brought forward to 24.3., approx. 8.30 to 9 a.m. Next trial date 18.02.2020, again in the large security room 235.
12.02.2020 – Trial day 11 – Supplements appear
Due to the illness of one of the defence lawyers, the actual trial cannot be continued today. Two announcements by the presiding judge give an outlook on what is likely to be dealt with in the next days of the trial. It is about two supplements to the case file. General State Prosecutor Schakau briefly states that this concerns a new preliminary investigation against one of the accused comrades from 2017, which is based on DNA traces and corresponds to the current trial. The public prosecutor’s office in Hamburg has provisionally suspended these proceedings, because the potential sentence in these proceedings is not significant compared to the possible sentence in the current proceedings. However, these proceedings are not connected with a recently published article in the SPIEGEL magazine. In the eyes of the defense, this article once again raises the question of where the press actually gets its information from. The public will not find out for the time being and will find itself thrown back into the belief in „coincidences“. Media pre-conviction? As is well known, this is no problem for General State Prosecutor Schakau, who today makes it explicitly clear that the so-called „special volume on media“ was produced solely for the purpose of documenting a „left-wing extremist scene“. A critical (legal) questioning of the role of the media in the „park bench trial“ and the „press work“ carried out by the cops and the public prosecutor’s office may certainly not be expected from this direction. Secondly, the presiding judge orders the self-reading procedure – and must immediately set this order aside in order to give the defense the opportunity to prepare its objection to this procedure. Specifically, this concerns 69 documents (documents serving as evidence) which are to be presented to the public viewers. They would then no longer have to be read out in the main hearing (which would have the effect, among other things, that it would become more difficult for the spectators to follow the progress of the hearing). Already at about 10.45 am the hearing ends on this day.
10.02.2020.Trial day 10 – Ooops… photos deleted
The day of the hearing starts with a delay of more than half an hour, because the judge, including those sitting next to her (lay Judges) arrive late. The judge continues the questioning of the cop witness P. from the last time. He was present as „civil investigator“ of the police unit „PK 21“ when the comrades were arrested. P. states that the two comrades, who have been in custody since summer 2019, are registered in the POLAS database as „violent left offenders“ and „politically motivated offenders“ respectively. He also states that he does not know how these entries were created. The search of the comrades at the arrest was carried out in the order in which they sat on the bench, but not on the bench. In the case of one of our friends, the cop witness stated that a shoulder bag, a backpack that had been standing on the floor between his legs, and his clothes had been searched. According to the witness, he could not remember the contents of the shoulder bag, whereas he stated that a functioning lighter was found in his trouser pocket. This had been checked by „simple trial and error“. Clothing (jacket, T-shirt) had been found which the cop witness considered „suitable“, as well as bicycle repair stuff, household and rubber gloves. The search of our other friend had been the same; a shoulder bag, a bag that had been standing on the floor between his legs and his clothes had been searched. The bag had been closed and P. had only opened it. Pig witness P. again cannot remember the size of his clothes, but he can remember that it must have been suitable, household gloves and a – functional – lighter. Inside the bag there would have been a transparent bag with garbage bags, individually knotted, in each of which there would have been a PET bottle filled with yellowish liquid. This liquid, according to the cop, smelled like petrol, or was \“petrol like\“ to him. There was as well barbecue lighters, matches and fuses in this bag. It turns out that the fuses are a complete speculation, as he does not really know what they were. The third comrade had been searched by a colleague, cop-witness P. could not remember whether he had been there or not. But P. could remember to have photographed all the objects found during the search. As far as he could remember, no lighter had been found in the third search. After the search, the „accusation was opened“ and our three comrades were „informed about their rights and duties as accused“ before they were arrested provisionally. P. could not remember a note that was said to be found during the search. After this questioning, photos are examined, on which the objects allegedly found during the search in the park are spread out. The defense at point to asks for the original photographs. Once again a moment when the originals are „accidentally“ not available to the court… the witness states that in January he had to return his work mobile phone, on which the original pictures were taken, and that he had deleted the pictures before. The defense now argues that it is impossible to authenticate the pictures in the file and the cop witness P. has nothing else to say against this. When asked, he states that he does not remember whether the photos in the file correspond to the photos he took that night. The defence reacts to this again miserable handling of original material that belongs to the file with an objection of utilization of the material. It announced a detailed statement of reasons for this for the coming day of the trial. The defence also asked where the objects allegedly found and photographed on the night of the arrest were located. Witness P. claims not to know this. He recalled that the objects had been temporarily stored in a typing room at police station 23. P. also states that he was assigned to the LKA 7 as a „civilian component“ for the search and arrest of our comrades. When asked by the defense, where P. had been immediately before the operation, he did not want to answer at first, because it was a „police tactic“ which he did not want to reveal. However, since the defence insists on his statements, P. finally states that he was at the Altona balcony together with the pig Saleti. What his role was now or what the mission was about and what he should do himself, P. had only found out on the spot from a cop from LKA 7. At this point of the interrogation, the hearing closes for today at 4 p.m. P. is now on holiday and will only be questioned further on 17.2.
04.02.2020. Trial day 8 – LOL
The presiding judge begins the day of the hearing by ordering that the two Leitz folders sent to the court last week by the LKA7 be attached to the procedural file. In the meantime, these folders had been inspected on Friday by the Chamber, the General State Prosecution and the defense. The presiding judge then informed those present that after the last day of the hearing she had inspected the benches of the spectators inside and had presumably seen „fresh damage to property with procedural relevance“ there. Specifically, this concerns slogans such as „Park bench III“ and „ACAB“, which are said to have been scratched into the wood and made the presiding judge think about the necessity of extending the security checks. The General State Prosecutor joyfully follows this ball and applies for a verification of the identity of the public upon admission to the regional court. This measure is suitable, to prevent the misuse and decoration of the old wood benches Prosecutor Schakau states openly. He says there is „consciousness of what is wrong is missing“ in the public stalls, of which the carvings testify allegedly. During the course of the trial he will once again reveal his own awareness of right and wrong, in which he will try to ignore clear illegalities in the rules of procedure as if they were trivialities. The presiding judge will read out her decision on the refusal of the request for access to the original file. She justifies this decision by stating that it was sufficient for the defence to have inspected the two files that had been supplied, that there were no indications of discrepancies between the versions of the file or of further material and that an extension of the file was in any case inadmissible. It subsequently rejected both the defence’s request for a stay of proceedings in order to explain the decision to the three defendants and the objection to its decision, which was essentially based on the fact that there were indeed indications of discrepancies and incompleteness in the files. In the course of the sequence of applications and decisions made by the presiding judge, the defense once again feels compelled to make it clear that it is not her insistence on a lawful procedure that is protracting the trial, but that it is primarily the sloppy work of the General State Prosecutions Office that is responsible for the fact that the files have to be examined in this way. Senior State Prosecutor Schakau, now known for his lack of self-control, nevertheless manages to surprise those present with loud mocking laughter. In the end, the order to continue the proceedings is confirmed and witness no. 2, that employee of the LKA7 who was commissioned to evaluate video material, is again questioned about the circumstances that led to the independent copying of parts of the file. The witness shows himself unwilling or unable to answer the defence’s questions satisfactorily, but at least manages to provide a certain amount of entertainment by multiplying gaps in his memory. With regard to a (written documented) telephone conversation with the court, he states that he cannot remember the statement that he cannot remember.
28.01.2020 – Trial day 7/ (sales) file
The day of the trial was scheduled from 10 to 15 o’clock. Waiting times were very manageable today and the admission control was undesired but the usual routine. Single entry, shoes off, jacket off, beeping*** beeping*** take things with you and let the cops paw at you. Lock things up and then I had prepared myself for the trellis run past many cops into the public stall, but there were only 5-6 cops in the stairwell. Nice! The trial started on time. There were about 40 trial observers in the public. The atmosphere was good and our accused friends were in good spirits. The focus of today’s trial is the question of who has which file material and how they differ. First, the presiding judge distributed an updated e-file to all defense attorneys. On this data carrier there were new and or original pictures, writings and data records of the fire tests carried out by the cops as well as a video file for observation at the gas station. Thereupon followed, in a slightly corroded tone on the part of the defense, the request to finally get complete access to the files. Quotation from the defence: „When I say full access to the files, I mean all information available to the investigating authorities! The judge succinctly says, „Sure.“ …a rather strange attitude on the part of the presiding judge, considering it is the seventh day of trial. Furthermore, the presiding judge states that there is now a note in the main file (file of the hearing) which refers to the testimony of the witness Krull. In addition, the presiding judge would have a note – issued by the responsible clerk bull on 22.01.2020 from the LKA 7 – regarding the investigative measures in the allotment garden association from October 2019. Thereupon the defense takes the floor. This is followed by an argumentative indignation about the conduct of proceedings by the judge and the General Prosecutor’s Office: „How is it possible that one day after inaccuracies in the investigating authorities and the file situation were criticised during a hearing day, new entries suddenly appear in the file?“ And:“Isn’t it a strange ‚coincidence‘ that the responsible clerk is ill exactly up until the day when the subject is raised in court from the relevant note?“ At this point, the defense refers once again to the already submitted request to examine whether the trial took place under „official escort“ aka. whether there are cops in the auditorium. State prosecutor Schakau responds that the defence should first take note of the files and records. According to the public prosecutor’s office, the defense would stir up „general suspicion“ against the cops and thus spread a „left-wing extremist narrative“. After some discussions between the defense and the State prosecution, one defense lawyer replied that she found this clumsiness of argumentation disturbing in Hamburg, and that she was only used to it from Dresden on Monday. When applause broke out from the audience for this contribution, the judge found herself obliged to forbid expressions of solidarity in the room which interrupt the negotiations with applauding and interjections. She threatened once again to clear the room, to impose fines and to detain them. This trial was not a court show and the behaviour of the audience did not contribute to the establishment of the truth. (Whereby this thesis has to be questioned). The defense again refers to the State prosecutors vulgarity against alleged „left-wing extremist narratives“ and makes it clear that this is no longer a matter of „general suspicion“, but „concrete suspicious facts“, that „even you must understand that“ (the State prosecutor). Schakau feels attacked by this again, „of course we will clear this up with the illness“. When the defence wants to clarify what this „examination“ must mean, Bornemann rebukes her, „Let me finish – you can do it! The arguments between the defense and the State prosecutor are subsiding. The defense requests an interruption/ break of the hearing to view the copy of the memorandum. In doing so, the defense cannot be deterred from pointing out the „completely unsystematic power position of the police“ in these proceedings. The judge does not deal directly with this request, but points out that witness Pahl (cop), who was summoned for today’s hearing, „forgot that he had an examination today and was therefore prevented from attending“. Triggered by the finding of the last day of the hearing that the original photo material is at least partially in the hands of the LKA 7 and the negotiating parties have to be satisfied with black and white copies, the presiding judge has in the meantime made a supplementary demand and two folders of file material have been handed over. These are titled „Supplements Special Volume Media …“ and „Supplements … Original“. She could not hand over the folders so far because the Chamber „did not know what was in them“. They had only arrived the previous afternoon. The defense asks how the file got to the court in the first place. Judge: „I wrote an email to Mr Schakau.“ Defence: „And then only these two folders arrived?“ Judge: „Yes. I have written that the originals of the file still in the police department are to be delivered to me.“ Defence: „As defence, I would like to be informed about such events – I request to be informed about such mails immediately – this is important for the trial. In the end, „judicial attempts to rectify the situation“ were under way. The defense now requests an break in the hearing for the inspection of the newly arrived file parts. It would also have to be checked whether „all original documents still with the police“ were actually there. After all, only black-and-white scans would be in the file as of 10.07.2019. Since the judge has so far been quite unimpressed by the obvious incompleteness of the file, the defense requests an official statement from her on her part, whether she is of the opinion that her official order has been followed in full. The defence emphasises how this is meant: „In your place, I would have expected that shortly after my request for completion of the original parts of the file, an LKA official would have been standing in front of the door with a large cardboard box containing more than these two Leitz files. It may be speculation, but what the witness Krull copied is not in these two folders. Another defender adds: „The explanation of the illness regarding the note on the allotment garden is also absurd. When looking at it for the first time, it becomes clear that 3 officers were on their way. I doubt they were all ill and someone else could have signed it. The defence now requests an interruption of the hearing for inspection of the files until the following day. The State prosecutor intervenes and says that the first step would be for the court to grant access to the files. The defence then extends its request for a suspension of the hearing to the next day of the trial, 29 January 2020. The judge considers the discrepancy between the files, on the basis of which the court’s leading file cannot be called the original file, to be „unfortunate“. In contrast, the defense states that this is simply an illegality. The public prosecutor’s office, for its part, sees the matter merely as grounds for a meditation on the question „What is an original?“ and does not want to see this mixed up with the question of whether the bullying withheld files or not. The defense points out that the cops are the ones who are in fact delaying the proceedings while „our clients are in custody“. Even Schakau and Bornemann together can’t deny that. „In fact, yes.“ The defense tries to make the General Prosecutor’s Office responsible: „You are the superior in command of the police – you must check that! And then custody will be protracted until it becomes punishment itself.“ The defence requests access to the original of all the elements of the paper file of the Court of First Instance in order to compare them with the E-File before it. Finally, the presiding judge orders a 15-minute recess „to allow us to sort through“. The „sorting“ seems to take a little longer, after 30 minutes the chamber appears again in the hall. The judge announces: „We think that it makes sense for the court to examine every single page. Therefore, the hearing is suspended for the time being. „We’ll decide later today whether to continue tomorrow.“ The defense and the GStA should prepare themselves „as a precaution for the rain of witnesses“. The defence’s objection that – even if, in the view of the court, everything was in agreement, it made no sense to continue the hearing the following day, after everything that had happened, since the defence would not have access to the file until tomorrow. The question was raised as to in which case the hearing could be continued tomorrow at all. The State prosecution is understanding: „We assume that the identity (of the files) exists – then we can continue to negotiate. But we understand that the defense must also look into it.“ As always, the presiding judge is quite unimpressed by the argumentatively conclusive motions of the defense and sticks to her „for now only“. Thus the day of the hearing 28.1.2020 is already over at 11.30 a.m. Nevertheless, there has been enough time to gain a new insight into the „work“ of the cops, their relationship with the judiciary and their handling of the case file, which is obviously catastrophic even from the point of view of the rule of law. We wave to our friends, whom we will unfortunately not see again until next week, in order to get through the fight with the bureaucracy and the legal jargon.
23.01.2020. Trial day 6 – coloured Original file?
The trial day begins with a small commotion around a member of the press, who prefers the back bench in the public room to the seats reserved for the press in the courtroom. Today the trial starts again without those still awaiting entramce. Presiding judge does not feel obliged (any more) to wait. The defence objects the use of the information from the first witness (who is the chairman of the allotment garden association) and repeats that at this point in time that nobody can say whether the observation is legal or not. In order to make the present situation clear, the comparison with an unlawfully coerced testimony is used. It is argued that in the case of such a testimony hardly anyone would think to check first the content and only then the legality of its occurrence. Likewise, in this trial, it is necessary to first check the orders of the police commissioner. The judge rejects this objection as unfounded and takes the view that the defendants are not disadvantaged by the use of the witness statements. She adds that this decision is provisional and that the issue of the legality of the surveillance is on the screen. The second witness to be questioned is a police officer whose – according to the self-assessment – marginal contribution to the „investigation work“ was the collection of video material from a petrol station and the taking of screenshots of it. The latter is an administrative employee in the public sector and is actually involved in Internet research on hate crime. The witness‘ statements on these activities paint a rather puzzling picture. It becomes really curious when the defense asks how the witness has prepared for his hearing in court. After some digging, it turns out that the witness had free access to all file material and copied a part of it (which he considered relevant for his questioning) on his own and even carried this copy with him. In the middle of the questioning on this subject, the witness abruptly left the courtroom, since there had been an agreement (not communicated with the defence) with the Chamber beforehand that he could leave at 3 p.m. Finally, by looking at photographic material, it is established that the file available to the Chamber, the prosecution and the defence differs, at least qualitatively, from the file available to the cops. The public prosecutor’s office confirms this by commenting on the question of whether this file is better, „If by better you mean more colourful, yes“. State prosecutor Schakau clears up the situation easily. The cops only sent him oral history pieces until an unspecified early date. From that moment on, the originals were simply sent to him. But the States prosecutions Office only has a black and white scanner, so they are only black and white. The documents, the files with the original signatures under the deeds and the colored pictures are still with the police. It is discussed a little bit obscurely, because it seems (surprise) that no authority aside from the cops has seen an original file yet.
Monday, 20.1.2020 – Trial day 4 – Observations
About 40 minutes before the trial starts at 1 pm, I wait a manageable 20 minutes in the queue for the security checks at the side entrance. The usual: one by one squeeze into the entrance lock, which closes automatically and blocks again and again – out again, in again. Shoes off, jacket off, everything goes through the screening device, just like at the airport. Today, the cop feels motivated to give instructions as if he is giving assistance. …in an inspection that is anything but voluntary. Then through the barrier, into the room with the lockers. Here again, the pig on duty cannot resist taking a a little more control, „The cap stays there. No headgear is allowed in court!“ Three flights of stairs up the pig lined stairwell („Pigwalk“) Today they stand together in small groups, the place where you turn from the staircase into the passage to the security room is especially uncomfortable. Angled, narrow, crammed with pigs, who – as if to increase their volume even more – swing their helmets in front of their stomachs and harass the passers-by in chorus with „Moin!“ As if someone would talk to them. Today we are only a few people in the hall, about 30, shortly before 1 pm. But while the trial slowly begins, the rows fill up again with about 20 people. The accused are greeted with applause and shouts as usual when they enter, but a bit more restrained than on the days before. Maybe because there are less people in the hall at first, maybe also because the feeling of routine is already emerging. The judge immediately enters with the question of whether the witness is waiting outside the door, which is confirmed, only to conclude that the defense\’s motion of last Friday to dismiss the case is rejected. The motion was based on massive publicity and a pre-judgement of the accused by the media, which did not guarantee a fair trial. However, according to the judge, a „public pre-judgement“ was not justified and thus there was no obstacle to the trial. The judge reads out her reasoning quickly and quite monotonously, it contains references to legal situations, other judgements as well as technical literature – for a lay person, it is not so easy to follow. Directly after this dry lecture a refusal reason follows on the request, which took place on past Friday, to request possibly that all pigs, state and constitution protectors present should leave the stall. The defence’s request was based on the fact that they could possibly be witnesses. The judge casually rejected the request for the resaon that there were no grounds for this presumption. Thus following the argument of the public prosecutor’s office. Some may still remember the reason she gave on Friday, that it is not to be expected that cops and state protectors would be recognised at all. Also the request for the naming of journalists present is rejected. The journalist rows is occupied today first by two, then by three; one of them belongs to the Taz (a lefie paper) the other two: unclear. The mood in the hall is one of solidarity, no one seriously expected a trail dismissal, but the hope of being able to simply embrace the loved ones again on this day may have germinated in one or the other. The rejections by the judge has to be digested. The judge would like to move on to the agenda, but two defence lawyers have submitted a motion: They have submitted a motion for „objection to the use of the property“, which all four other defence lawyers have joined. This objection is directed against being allowed to use the observations made against one of the accused in the proceedings. This is followed by the detailed grounds. The secret observations at the house address, LIZ, black market and GPS surveillance were ordered by the President of the Police in 2018 and extended in 2019 as measures of so-called „danger prevention“. Their use in the current proceedings was illegal, as they were to be ordered by a court and not only by the police, due to the serious intrusion into the privacy of the accused comrade. However, the judicial confirmation of the police order, which was to be issued three days later, was missing in the file. The illegality of the observations made was relevant to the proceedings, since they formed the basis of the proceedings. Discussions also arose in the legal expert public on the basis of the trial as to whether there was an „arbitrary circumvention of the judge’s reservation“. Furthermore, the first order of observation should have been limited to 3 months, the reasons for the extension are missing in the file. This was a „repressive measure in the guise of danger prevention“. Furthermore, it had to be examined whether the interference with the life of the person concerned did not weigh more heavily than the interest in the investigation, particularly with regard to the duration and scope of the measure. In the initial application of 6 November 2018, the order for surveillance was only issued on flimsy grounds, which the lawyers again emphasised by citing them. General conclusions from the 2017 Report on the Protection of the Constitution on „Left-wing Radicals“ would be supplemented in the order by „findings“ on the person concerned. This board of directors of the registered association, LIZ is said to have a key to the black market and to be „internationally very well networked“, which allegedly would provide the basis for militancy, remains without sources. It remains unclear where this information should come from. The LIZ is linked to the organization of a militant action, and the documents even state literally that there is „no concrete suspicion“ against the observed person. Over all kinds of speculations about „international anarchist contacts“, the observed person is accuses of having a „key role“. The flimsy of this reasoning, is shown all too clearly here, according to the lawyers. In addition, the protocols on observations, which must have been made at short notice and refer to places in the file such as „enters the Rote Flora“ or „used an unclear number of wheels“, were missing. On this basis, the lawyers demand a comprehensive ban on evidence and the collection of data. They point out that obviously observation results are missing in the file, such as photos etc. and observation reports. These are to be sent to the defense. For this reason, the lawyers request the suspension of the proceedings. On the one hand, to preserve the missing protocols, and on the other hand, to be able to work through them. State prosecutor Schakau reacts promptly, hot-tempered and impudent – as usual during the past days of the trial. Without wanting to read the lawyers\‘ well-founded request again, he is quite sure that the Chamber will recognise the usefulness of the observations made. The legality of the observations „plays no role here in the result“. The absurdity of this statement is commented with laughter from the public audience. As always, Schakau feels attacked, threatened and believes that he can take drastic action by authoritarian behaviour as a poison dwarf: „But now it’s over! The orders correspond to materially valid law“ – What does he mean by that? What then is immaterial law? At the same time, Schakau admits that he is „no expert“, but doesn’t care. Moreover, „even if the observations were illegal, it is necessary to weigh them against the interest in persecution“. Schakau tries to go one step further by now justifying the great interest of the state in persecution, which in his opinion raises the question of illegality, with the alleged planning with attacks on, among other things, a residential building, which allegedly involves danger to life and limb. Now, Attorney General Bornemann also hooks in to jump in to help his colleague. The two gentlemen obviously feel that the audience, which is commenting in solidarity, has stepped on their white ties, and Bornemann admonishes the judge that she should admonish the hall to take action against heckling, among other things. The judge does not react immediately to this request. First, one of the lawyers has her say, who draws Schakau’s attention to his lack of professionalism: „Mr. Schakau, you’re making it too easy for yourself“ and asks him to take a serious look at the application. Another defence lawyer adds that Schakau’s statement „I have not examined it, that does not matter“, „speaks volumes“. Surveillance without a judge’s reservation is unconstitutional. With regard to the state of the file in the defence’s possession, there was „objective arbitrariness“. Now the judge supports the statement of the Attorney General that the question of the current usability is important to him. And then the judge agreed to the States prosecutions request to ensure order in the courtroom. This is the first time that the judge has complied with the States prosecutions request. She lists the entire arsenal of possible repressive measures: clearing the hall, personal identification, fines, and custody. She adds, however, that she also wants to comply with the defense’s request to ensure silence, regardless of whether they are spectators or officials. And – an assurance to the public prosecutor’s office? – she adds that she would react with reminders and sanctions if she „had time“. The judge then announces a 15-minute break to examine the application for suspension of the proceedings that has just been made. The two companions in custody are also put back into cells for this short time and locked away, a short goodbye, then, after the break, a small reunion. First, after the break, the judge dismisses the witness, as there was not enough time to interrogate him. In order to examine the application, the hearing would not continue until next week. Organizational matters will be clarified, dates: The date of January 27th will be cancelled. Instead, there will be a so-called „short hearing“ on March 25 at 8:15 a.m., but without the defense of one of the defendants, who is prevented from attending. According to the judge, any expert opinions that do not concern this defendant will be examined. There are other things that are not working out, such as the fact that the summonses for the witnesses are still not available for the defense. One of the lawyers again points out that according to Schakau, „The defendant [who is outside] has been observed all the time“ – the lawyer makes it clear that it is clear that parts of the files are missing. According to the lawyer, this statement shows that the exact wording of the Attorney General is important and thus refers to the already rejected request of the defence that the words of the Attorney General be recorded verbatim. The lawyer again emphasised that it was necessary to check which parts of the file were missing. The hearing will end on Monday, 20.01.2020 at about 3 pm. As always, a sad moment to wave to the prisoners while they are being taken back to jail under the supervision of the lock-keepers, but also a farewell in solidarity and common strength against the repression: „See you soon!“
17.01.2020 – 3rd day of proceedings – application for the discontinuation of the trial
Today the hearing should have begun at 9am. However, as usual, due to the security measures and all of the people who show up in solidarity, it ended up beginning shortly after 10am. It looks like this will continue to be the case.
First of all, the application to know about any cops & co who might be observing the trial: The presiding judge explained that neither she nor the other judges had been approached by an authority with such an inquiry. She as well said that there is no concrete evidence to imply that the courtroom would be observed. An abstract danger was not sufficient in the opinion of the court. If the contents of the file should change in retrospect, according to what comes up in the investigation, one would have to inquire anyway. In addition, it was said that the request would be difficult to implement in practice. This is because one does not know whether trial observers would react honestly. This quiry would also need to be repeated every day of the trial. So the motion was rejected. Also rejected was the request for a verbatim transcript of the (de)escalation statement of GstaA Schakau. The judge said that the court had taken note of the statement, but that it did not have to be recorded in the minutes. This was followed by another motion by the defense. It was requested that the proceedings be discontinued. The background which lead to this motion being placed has to do with the media coverage in the run-up to the trial. Contrary to the technical legal presumption of innocence which should be found in any trial, there was huge criminalisation campaign against the comrades preceeding the trial, this was fed and controlled by cops passing on information. The defense spoke thereby of „propaganda“. The lawyers also made a follow-up application, in case that the court does not grant the application for the discontinuation of the trial, requesting that all persons who had access to the files should be named. Furthermore, statements are to be obtained from them as to whether they were involved in background discussions or any other communication with the press. In addition, it is requested that the access to the files stored in the cops‘ system be disclosed in order to exclude certain representatives of the press, especially Woldin from der Welt and Herder from the Hamburger Abendblatt, who were not present on that day of the hearing. The GStA (State prosecution, high court) commented that it did not even need a copy of this request. His opinion is that the request should be rejected anyway and the term propaganda fits more to the articles found on Indymedia. Afterwards it was discussed whether the defense should make another motion. The court would have liked this, however, in the end all the lawyers agreed that while the decision on the discontinuation remains open, it makes no sense to further add applications. For if the proceedings were to be discontinued, the other applications would be invalid. After a two-hour break, the third day ends at around 2:30 pm, as the court needs more time to examine the extensive application for discontinuation of the trial.
16.01.2019 – 2nd day of proceedings – (De)escalation
As on the first day, the second trial date should as well start at 1pm. Due to the entrance controls and the many members of public showing up in solidarity, there is of course a delay. Still, the official admission time is announced as one hour prior to the start date, which is clearly inefficient to start the trail punctually. From now on, the door will be opened two hours before the start of the event.
When our accused friends came in, there was a lot of cheering again. Then it was announced that the Higher Regional Court had rejected the application for the second mandatory defence – meaning that the application that all defendants be represented by two lawyers was rejected. The Regional Court, in which the trial is taking place, had previously approved this application because of the size of the trial, against which the public prosecutor’s office had successfully appealed. This means that the costs for the second legal counsel for the defense must now be carried by the defendants. Due to fact that the accused had not yet received this order, the hearing was interrupted for an hour – endless discussion. The second defense counsel declared that they would continue to participate in the trial for the time being, out of choice. But this does not clarify whether the defense can be continued with two lawyers each in the future. Meanwhile there were repeated interjections from the audience. Especially when a guard touched one of the accused, this caused indignation and shouts „Don’t touch him!“. The General Prosecutor‘s Office (GStA) turged the court to take action against this. Until now, the presiding judge has not responded to the audience not standing up or to heckling, behavior which is not so typical from a judge. The defense counsel replied that this was as well a matter of de-escalation, whereupon the Attorney General Schakau said: „This is exactly the de-escalation that has led to the fact that more and more extremist crimes are being committed here“. In order to record this statement of the Attorney General, the defense then requested that this sentence be recorded verbatim in the minutes of the main hearing. The defense stated that it was GstA Schaukau intention to escalate the proceedings, stating that the quoted statement highlights the General Prosecutor’s Office overall tendency. The court wants to decide on the motion on the next day of the trial. Having been informed of their right to refuse to testify, the accused refuse to give any testimony to their friends and comrades. Next, the defense requested that it be determined whether there were police officers or other authorities observing the trial in the public stall. In previous G20-related trials, plainclothes PK21 cops were sent to observe the trial to report on it and thus to influence the trial. The lawyers explained that in view of the press releases and the disregard for court decisions already visible in the preliminary proceedings, it seems clear that the cops have a great interest in influencing the court proceedings. To get their desired result. This means that the court should check the possible presence of such observers and, if necessary, prevent them. Of course the Prosecutors General saw it differently and argued against it. Among other things, it was said that evidence is needed and as long as it is not there, there is no reason to check. The court will make a decision regarding this request, again, on the next day of the hearing. Finally, the GStA urged the court to give a part of the file to a self-reading procedure. This means that specific files which have already been read by those party to the proceedings themselves, would not be read out again in court. Argumentation being, that it is unnecessary, as all participants are privy to the information. The public audience would however, as a result, have no idea about what is being discussed and it would make the trial even more difficult to follow. The court announced that this procedure is already being examined for parts of the legal files. Thus the second day of the trial ends shortly before 15:00. The entire day was marked by an exchange of blows between the defense and the Attorney General’s Office. The GStA, especially Mr. Schakau, was significantly present, he clearly felt personally attacked by the motions of the defense. Without even taking two minutes to think calmly about a proposed motion, it seemed that he felt it necessary to defend the entire State constitution, as if it were he, himself being put into question in this process, he got muddled up, became clumsy and the general content became completely diffuse. GSta Bornemann did his best to stand up for his colleague. On this day, the question of what extremism is or is not, found an entire new breadth 😉
08.01.2020 – First day of trial – arraignment
The start of the first day of the trial was scheduled for 13:00. From 12:00 p.m, people gathered for a rally in front of the court on Sievekingplatz in solidarity.
The trial takes place with increased security measures in the high-security hall of the court, which is not accessible via the main entrance. Instead, a side entrance on the right side of the building is used. There are entrance controls (bags, jacket, shoes etc.), just like at the airport; a walk through a scanner etc.. All belongings, except shoes are to be locked into lockers. After that, up a few flights of stairs, through narrow corridors, with two or three cops standing guard every metre of the way, and finally, you reach the courtroom. Because of the security controls it took more than 2 ½ hours for the last member of public to enter the hall. One of the accused – the one currently not in remand – had to wait patiently in the hall, while the other two comrades – who have been in remand since July – were brought to the hall at 2:45. Their entrance was met with much joy. „Freedom for all prisoners“ was bellowed in the hall and there was also a little serenade to „I’m still standing“. The trial began shortly thereafter, with no one standing up when the three judges came in, and as well not for the presiding judge (name to be given at a later date). The two Attorneys General – State prosecution – Schakau & Bornemann should also be mentioned at this point. First there was a little preliminary skirmishing. The two lay judges were sworn in, the presence of those present was checked and the personal data of the accused queried, it was found that two of the accused are currently in custody… Then the charges of indictment were read. Our three friends are charged with arson in two cases and heavy arson in one case. In addition, a violation of the Weapons and Explosives Act for one of the accused and participation in it for the other two. The hearing lasted about 5 minutes, after which the first day of the trial was over shortly after 3 pm. After 2 ½ hours of waiting and about 20 minutes of trial. The defendants were bid a very warm farewell until the next time.
Next day of trial on 16.01.2020