Hambacher Forest: On 11/29/2018 the first eviction trial took place before the district court in Kerpen. The trial was interrupted for a discussion and the proceedings than closed by the state prosecution. A report.
Note: Enough is Enough is not organizing any of these events, we are publishing this text for people across the US and Europe to be able to see what is going on and for documentation only.
For the 15 solidary visitors the morning begins with the (meanwhile already routine) entrance checks to the district court Kerpen and a police force of approximately 30 persons.
According to the indictment, Andrea was in a hammock near a treehouse, which was to be evicted, and moved further into the treetop when the altitude intervention team officers were on the same level. During the eviction Andrea is said to have defended herself with punches, kicks and insults like “wanker” and “pigs”. For the prosecutor from this resulted “assault” and “attempted assault” as accused criminal offenses.
After the indictment Andrea confirms the personal details, but does not comment on the person and does not give any details.
The taking of evidence begins with the inspection of parts of the eviction video. Special attention was given to two situations:
According to the indictment a first “kick” happened shortly after resecuring (from Andrea’s securing to police securing). While one of the officers tried to pull Andrea into the basket of the elevator, a movement of the can be seen on the tree. For the defense clearly a “twitch”, due to the “working out” of the foot from a last loop.
A supposed “blow” is similarly ambiguously recorded. Andrea is said to have beaten the glasses out of an officer’s face. It is also not clear by multiple views, whether it is a “picking glasses from the face” or a punch.
Acoustically the video is mainly characterized by factual comments of a BFE officer (probably the recording one), screams of pain by Andrea and loud working noise of the elevators.
The first witness, BFE officer H., 52, of the third technical unit in Cologne, is surprised why he is actually invited as a witness. He himself had recorded the video of the operation and had made no further observations beyond.
He can not comply with the request of the judge to name the officers who pulled Andrea from the tree into the basket. But she should just look in the file. Judge Pretzell assures that she studied the file well, but nowhere the names of the officers appeared. “Why are not the two known by name who went up there?”
Then the second witness, police officer K., 32, from Bad Bergzabern was a little closer to the action. He steered the basket of the elevator and drove himself and his two – still unknown to the judiciary – colleagues up to the treetop. He also can not help with the identification, he suspects that they were SEK people from Lower Saxony or Kassel. It becomes clear that individual points of the indictment refer to the previous action on a tripod. Also there seems to have been a kick, but with success. About the loss of glasses of his colleague, he heard only from him in hindsight. Also why Andrea should actually be cleared – after all, the eviction concerned the tree houses and not “people in the treetops” – he can not say.
After his hearing, the trial is interrupted for a legal discussion. Prosecutor Schützenberg now seems not to opposed to a closure of the proceedings. He explains this as follows:
He has accused according to §114, but the file entries on which he relied, concern in his opinion the tripod eviction. The video spoke rather for a “resist” in the sense of §113 than for an “assault”.
In this case, the level at which the situation took place and the concern for her own safety had to be taken into account. With renouncement of compensation for wrongful imprisonment and a “symbolic cash payment” of 100 € to ProAsyl he was ready to a setting according to §153a StPO (code of criminal procedure). The court, defense lawyer and accused person agree. The trial is finished.
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