The following are a collection of posts for German news outlets on the the Love Parade Trial. We are using Google Translate to convert to English, but including the original media link.

We will endeavour to update this as often as possible.

20th December 2018

 Is this the final spurt?

The court has said goodbye to the Christmas holiday today. First, the questioning of yesterday’s witness was brought to an end. It was short and there were no new surprising statements. The judge then praised all those involved for not delaying the process plan, as in other major proceedings. It was on schedule, which he did not think possible at the beginning.

Yes, it may be exemplary how disciplined the lawyers follow the tact that the court dictates. Personally, this is a bit of harmony.

From my point of view, the prosecutor and the sideline often behave restrained. I understand that to a degree. Because many questions that could be asked of the witnesses are already anticipated by the presiding judge. Care is taken to avoid unnecessary repetitions. Therefore, polls of the public prosecutor’s office and the adjutant lawyers fall short even today. But defenders, on the other hand, are much more likely to make use of their right to make statements on previous testimony. They try to look more intensively at evidence. Everything to relieve their clients.

On the other hand, on the other hand, I would have expected more action from the adjunct lawyers who wrote the  letter to the Ministry of Justice and wanted to stop the proceedings. But today, as so often lately, many places remain empty. Many mics mute.

It seems to me that the defenders will be given the stage here. The media interest may have subsided. On the third of January, the last witness will be heard before the legal proceedings. Then decide if and how it goes on in the process.

19th December 2018

Eight years ago, the witness, whose interrogation is due today, was responsible for one of the entrances to the tunnel as a security guard. At a critical point in time, he caused the admission controls to be fully opened even though he had no orders from his crowd-manager boss . As a reason he already mentioned in his interrogation after the disaster, the instruction of a senior police officer, but he could not clearly identify.

An experienced man

The 49-year-old explains that he has already worked with a million visitors in Cologne at some major events such as the Christopher Street Day. He has created security concepts and worked closely with the police. He was at the Loveparade with a team in use, which had been well recorded.

On the morning of the Love Parade, he had looked at his workplace and told the crowd manager directly that, above all, the fences on the wayside were not stable and inappropriate to control crowds. “We have to make the best of it.” Was the answer. He still blames himself today, because he had already guessed: “Two entrances and no emergency exit. There are wounded tonight. ”

Who initiated the opening of the locks?

But first everything went according to plan, reports the witness. He was in contact with the Crowd Manager via radio. But in the afternoon he had instructed him to close the entrances, because the pressure on the ramp had become too high. However, a police officer who reportedly led the operation on the street had asked him to open all the inlets. This action could have been a trigger for the accident. For the crowds that poured into the tunnel after opening were allegedly run into the  police  chain that had been formed there.

The question is, who made this fatal decision. The witness is convinced that it was a police officer. There is no evidence today. At least not on the many video recordings that show the area of ​​application of the witness.

An emotional statement

Does the witness’s credibility have to be questioned? From time to time, as a blogger, I presume to answer that question. But not today.

The man works. With his kölsch dialect and the way of expressing himself, he brings the audience partly to smirk. But then the strong former security staff also wrestles again and can not hold back the tears. He says he feels “moral responsibility.” In the end, I ask myself as an observer, whether I have now listened to a responsible person or a victim.

18th December 2018

A Gray day

A gray-haired man in a suit sits in front of the judge and makes his testimony. He formulates sentences that you could write down directly and print out as a decree of the Ministry of Construction. That’s his job too. What he has to do with the Loveparade process? This only  becomes apparent when one looks at the first day of his witness examination, where my colleague Doro Blome-Müller blogged.

One has to listen to the questioning of the witness by the public prosecutor’s office and defense very well today. Especially since some of the questions are so complicated that they are read out. In addition, the questioning of witnesses is generally strictly regulated. For example, conclusions are not allowed. It is always treated only what this one witness can remember. Partly weeks later, the lawyers then provide explanations to the witnesses, in which they place the statements in a larger context.

The security concept – check or not check. That is the question.

Among other things, the witness should help to clarify whether the representatives of the building department at that time had the task of examining the security concept drawn up by the organizer Lopavent. Clear question, right? The answer is: “A security concept is not a construction template.” Said the witness. This may mean that the building department of the city of Duisburg did not have the task to test the security concept. It does not have to. There does not seem to be any clear guidelines in this case. The existing rules can apparently not be transferred to the grounds of the Love Parade. At least that’s what the witness says.

The surveillance cameras

Finally, a silent film is shown. That’s how it seems to me. I wish he was black and white. Then he would seem further away and less cruel.

The room light is dimmed. It is quiet. On the screen you can see part of the tunnel in fast motion. These are the pictures of a surveillance camera. It must have been attached to a fence on the white container in front of the ramp. It shows people who come from Grabenstraße and want to pass the camera on the ramp to the left.

The recording starts at about 13 o’clock. I see people walking through the tunnel, who seem to be timelapse like old silent movies. There is still a lot of room at the beginning. Sometimes I notice small groups, all wearing the same T-shirts. A couple is snooping along the tunnel, arm in arm. There are police officers, and parents with children and a wheelchair user. Some people stop, talk on the phone, light a cigarette, sit down on the curb and drink colorful drinks mixed in large plastic bottles. There are ambulances and police cars driving through the people. The people are relaxed. Some run up to the terrain, the others out of the tunnel.

At 4 pm the access to the tunnel will be closed. I recognize that at some point only people can be seen who want to get out.

About fifteen minutes later, the inlets are opened and you see people pouring towards the camera. The crowd is getting bigger and bigger. The camera angle changes suddenly. First you see individual people in the crowd. Then the perspective changes again. The camera points down and you see people trying to climb a fence. The fence bends and a lot of rucksacks are lying on the ground. Then the video is over.

For me today is a gray day in the process. One in which black and white run into each other. It is a day of the process on which the many phrases in well-kept official German about security concepts and special building regulations in stark contrast to the silent film from the accident tunnel stand.

13th December 2018

The day starts at noon with watching two more videos. There are records of surveillance cameras from the tunnel in time lapse. It is good to see how it gets fuller, sometimes less crowded, when the isolation systems were opened unchecked and when they were closed. The police lanes, which have since been confiscated in the tunnel, are clearly visible.

Ministerialrat as a witness

After an hour, today’s witness is asked to enter the hall. He could not go earlier, so the trial day had to start at noon. The 59-year-old was and is in the Ministry of Construction head of the unit “fire protection”. He was, he reports, in the run-up to the event by the engineer who had created the fire protection report for the Love Parade and asked if under the so-called special building regulations under certain conditions, the escape routes could be narrower than provided by law. In principle, he said yes, but also made it clear that he did not find the application of this special building regulation suitable for the Loveparad terrain.

Opinion in the Interior Committee

Shortly after the accident, the witness was then in the Interior Committee question and answer – including the question of what exactly was actually responsible for the building authority of the city of Duisburg in the permits. There he had taken the position that, for example, the authority had only been obliged to ensure that there was even a security concept for the event. Whether that was plausible, for this question the building authority was not responsible.

It continues next week

The court is quite quick with his questions, because with the actual planning of the witness was not concerned. But he may not have been unimportant to the building authority’s decision to approve the event. In the coming week, prosecutors, co-plaintiffs and defense are on it – they have a whole process day to clarify this question among others.

12th December 2018

Numbers and videos

After Judge Plein yesterday asked all the questions that the court had to the witness, today it goes on with the questioning by the prosecutor. It turns, how often, especially about numbers. In this case, the numbers on which the force planning of the fire-brigade’s advisor in the Ministry of Internal Affairs crisis team was based: up to 5,000 slightly injured and up to 500 people so badly injured that they would have to be taken to hospital. Because later incidental action and defense come back to it, the witness repeatedly emphasizes that such high numbers in the magnitude of the event – after all, in the run up to one million visitors the speech – and the weather conditions on the day of the event – that was great heat – were not unrealistic.

Little enlightening

After a quarter of an hour, the right to ask questions goes to the sideline, but also the defense as well as the defense do not want to know much about the witness. Much enlightening does not contribute to my impression, because in the actual planning of the Loveparade 2010, he was not involved. And he was not in the thick of things on the day of the event. Although the word crisis staff sounds like comprehensive competencies, essentially the man had to ensure that sufficient rescue workers from all over North Rhine-Westphalia were brought together in Duisburg.

preparation time

Well before the usual lunch break, the witness is finally dismissed for the time being, as usual under the proviso of re-charge, and Judge Plein declares that he will soon end the day of the trial. Among other things, to give the parties involved the opportunity to eat through part three of the preliminary, around 3000 pages, expert opinion.

Two videos

The unplanned gap still gives the court the opportunity to show two videos introduced by the prosecution. According to some defense attorneys, the fact that they were put on record a long time ago passed them by, and one of the lawyers complains after the first video that he does not see much of a gain in knowledge. I can see that, because the interesting thing about the footage created by professionals is what you see and you can not see at the same time. It shows that there was a standstill on the ramp and that visitors to the Love Parade climbed the embankments and light poles to reach the site. However, there is no sign of a police cordon that would have prevented people from moving on. To quote from the current summary of the appraiser:

11th December 2018

A spacious structure

The witness today was mid-30 in 2010. The fire protection engineer sat by his own account as a fire-technical adviser in the crisis team of the Interior Ministry. In this function, he participated ten days before the Love Parade at a preparatory meeting with the fire department Duisburg.

Judge Plein wants to know how he was introduced to the route and whether there were any discussions or suggestions for improvement. “That was presented to us in broad terms,” ​​replies the witness. “What was special to us was the closure of the highway as a rescue services route.”

“I did not know this kind of event”

Whether ramp and tunnel were discussed in more detail, the judge hooks. The situation was described as critical. And further: “The reflections that were made there, the concepts were unknown to me. But I did not know that kind of event either. “Possible concerns that visitor guidance was critical had been dispelled by explaining – in this case, a Lopavent employee -” how visitors to the event tick. ”

Visitors follow their favorite artists

Among other things, they were focused on their favorite DJs and let themselves be pulled by the “floats” music trucks – away from the ramp. The assignment “to certain DJs was unknown to me, but sounded plausible.” Tunnel and ramp, he had looked at a site inspection. And he felt the tunnel was generous. Yes, that is already a generous building. He has wide sidewalks and a wide lane.

Generous but long and without emergency exits

Unfortunately, the tunnel had no emergency exits except for the small ramp that was initially closed off. And 21 people, who thought they recognized the narrow staircase at the foot of the ramp as their emergency exit, became the apparent way out.

Preparations for up to 5000 light and 500 serious casualties

It sounded quite often, in this process. But when I hear the witness today, I am once more aware of how error-prone and fragile the alleged security at major events is. Even if the way there is not through a bottleneck like Tunnel and Ramp. He and his colleague have been responsible for requesting additional rescue services from various government districts, says the 43-year-old. And they would have prepared for the emergency. Their planning was designed for up to 5,000 light and 500 seriously injured.

8th December 2018

“No delaying tactics recognizable”

Almost 90 times was negotiated in the Loveparade criminal case. It’s also about clarifying the reasons for the disaster. In January, a legal dispute comes up, which decides on the progress of the procedure.

As always, the presiding judge Mario Plein also led the 88th day of the Loveparade trial. One year ago, on 8 December 2017, the criminal process had begun. An end is not yet in sight. Appointments are scheduled until April 26, 2019. The procedure is one of the most time-consuming of the postwar period – measured by the duration and the number of participants. For reasons of space, the regional court (LG) Duisburg has moved the main proceedings to a convention hall in Dusseldorf.

It continues to matter whether the ten defendants can be prosecuted for the fact that the Loveparade in Duisburg in July 2010 in a deadly crush crushed 21 people and many were injured. But it is also about education, how it could come to the disaster. Six employees of the city of Duisburg and four of the organizer Lopavent are sitting at the dock in the mammoth trial. The prosecution accuses them of negligent homicide and negligent assault.

Court spokesman Matthias Breidenstein is satisfied with the course so far: “The process is progressing swiftly and all parties to the proceedings work constructively to clarify the events,” he says. A delaying tactics is not recognizable by anyone.

Legal discussion on 16 January

This is not self-evident, because the acts of absolute limitation (§ 78c Abs. 3 Criminal Code) are subject, unless by July 2020, a first-instance verdict is present. A few months ago, plaintiffs’ lawyers had expressed concern about a premature termination of the case after the judge announced a so-called legal discussion on January 16, 2019. In the process, all involved lawyers exchange their opinions about the state of the evidence and the legal assessments. At the beginning of October, Plein promised: “It is very important to me, after the end of the trial, to be able to say why the children of the co-plaintiffs died and why many were injured, we will answer the questions that are urgent, We’ll tell what was the cause of the disaster. ”

At the time, however, he did not exclude one attitude: “If we believe that an attitude is the right one, then there is no room left for another decision, that is, for a conviction or an acquittal, and then the rule of law dictates that we do exactly that If that is not the case, we will of course continue to negotiate. ”

Until the legal discussion, it goes on and on. The constant accompaniment by psychologists and emergency counselors is also continued, organized by the Duisburg Loveparade Foundation. Almost every day of the meeting, the offer will be perceived, says Ulrike Stender of the Foundation Board. She has a good idea of ​​the process. “The process is very broad in the sense of enlightenment.”

Appraiser: misfortune could have been prevented

Among the currently 58 co-plaintiffs are several relatives. One of them is Manfred Reißaus. Eight years ago, the 56-year-old lost his daughter Svenja at the event. He said he had been to the process 35 times already. And criticizes that many witnesses have invoked memory gaps. “This is sad and stressful for the parents.” But the judge is a good testimony: “Plein is very hard, he also does not mince his words and goes down to the smallest detail.”

An expert report submitted to the LG on Wednesday confirms the prosecution’s decision: the accident could have been prevented. The expert Jürgen Gerlach came to the conclusion after more than two years of investigation. “As part of the planning, approval and acceptance process, there were several clues to determine the unsuitability of the event area for the expected number of visitors,” stated the traffic expert of the University of Wuppertal in his report.

The LG Duisburg faces complex legal questions of causality between possible actions and the death of 21 as well as the violation of more than 650 people. For convictions, the Sixth Criminal Division should be convinced that the mistakes of the very people who are now in the dock led to the disaster. That it was they whose decisions and actions led to the deaths of the 21 victims – and not the police, for example, whose planning and behavior are also heavily criticized on the day of the disaster, but which nobody is accused of. It needs, so the Federal High Court in settled case law, for it no compelling certainty. But it needs a “sufficient level of safety after life experience that does not allow reasonable doubt”.

“We will say what was the cause of the disaster”

For one year the criminal process runs to the Loveparade disaster, an end is not in sight. The process is about guilt, but also the clarification of the misfortune. Observers certify to the judge that he is doing a good job.

The presiding judge Mario Plein needs only two seconds for his “Good morning, please take a seat” on the 84th day of the Loveparade trial. As always, he leads the session calmly and friendly-as usual. One year ago, on 8 December 2017, the criminal process had begun. An end is not yet in sight. Appointments are scheduled until April 26, 2019. The procedure is one of the most time-consuming of the postwar period – measured by the duration and the number of participants. For reasons of space, the district court of Duisburg has moved the main proceedings to a convention hall in Dusseldorf.

Why is? Furthermore, whether and, if so, what personal guilt ten defendants carry at the Loveparade in Duisburg in July 2010 in a deadly crush crushed 21 people and many were injured. Above all, it is about clarification on how it came to the disaster. Six employees of the city of Duisburg and four of the organizer Lopavent are sitting on the dock. The prosecution accuses them of negligent homicide and negligent assault.

Court spokesman Matthias Breidenstein is satisfied with the course so far: “The process is progressing quickly. All parties involved work constructively to clarify the events, “he says. A delaying tactics is not recognizable by anyone.

Enlightenment or guilt?

Enlightenment is a keyword for the process. A few months ago, sideline lawyers had expressed concern over a premature termination of the case after the judge announced a so-called legal brief for the spring. In the process, all involved lawyers exchange their opinions about the state of the evidence and the legal assessments. Plein promised at the beginning of October: “It is very important to me that we can say after the end of the process, why the children of the co-plaintiffs died and why many were injured. We will answer the questions that are urgent to answer here. We will say what the cause of the disaster was. ”

However, he did not exclude one attitude: “If we believe that one attitude is the right one, then there is no room left for another decision, that is, for a conviction or an acquittal. Then the rule of law dictates that we do the same. If that is not the case, we will of course continue to negotiate. ”

The legal discussion will take place on 16 January. Indications are expected as to whether the trial will subsequently proceed to a verdict or be terminated beforehand without judgment. It can be attended by up to 75 lawyers: defense lawyers, adjunct lawyers, prosecutors and lawyers of the criminal division. The legal discussion is also based on an opinion commissioned by the public prosecutor’s office on the course of events and the possible causes of the tragedy. Important finding of the expert: The accident could have been prevented already in the planning phase.

Psychologists accompany relatives and victims

Lawyer Gerd-Ulrich Kapteina represents one of the accused employees of the city. “After almost a year of negotiation, it is clear that the complexity of the case goes far beyond what was stated in the indictment,” he says. This applies inter alia to the assessment of the role of the police in their communication problems and their decisions on the spot. “We are not there yet. We hope that the thorough education of the court will provide further information. ”

Furthermore, psychologists and emergency counselors accompany the process, organized by the Duisburg Loveparade Foundation. Almost every day of the meeting, the offer will be perceived, says Ulrike Stender of the Foundation Board. She has a good idea of ​​the process. “The process is very broad in the sense of enlightenment.”

Among the currently 58 co-plaintiffs are several relatives. One of them is Manfred Reißaus. Eight years ago, the 56-year-old lost his daughter Svenja at the techno party. He was involved in 35 court appointments, he says. He criticizes that many witnesses have invoked memory gaps. “This is sad and stressful for the parents.” He gives the judge a good testimonial: “Plein makes a lot of effort, he also does not mince his words and goes down to the smallest detail.”

“Quiet, objective and confident”

Reißaus’ lawyer, the Bochum criminologist Prof. Thomas Feltes, considers a termination of the procedure to be “perfectly reasonable”. As a reason, he cites the burden of his client through the process. In particular, the expert’s report and the police officers’ statements made it clear that on the day of the incident, crucial mistakes had been made “for which the defendants probably have no responsibility”. Against this background, it was all the more incomprehensible, “that all investigations against police officers had been stopped in the run-up to the proceedings.”

Feltes also certifies the judge a good job: “He leads quietly, objectively and confidently through the process and ensures a high level of transparency and education, so that all parties can follow the process of the process well.”

7th December 2018

One year Loveparade process: what did he bring?
By Martin Teigeler

One year ago, the Loveparade trial began
The outcome of the procedure remains open
The most important questions and answers about the process
What is the process about?
On 8.12.2017, the trial began for the Duisburg Love Parade disaster. Since then, it’s about the legal processing of a disaster.
At the Loveparade techno event on 24 July 2010 in Duisburg, 21 people were crushed in the crowd – at the access ramp and the access tunnel to the party grounds. Over 650 people were injured.

Who is sitting in the dock?
Six employees of the city of Duisburg and four of the organizer Lopavent are accused. The prosecution accuses them of negligent homicide and negligent assault.

Who is not sitting in the dock?
For years survivors and survivors have been criticized for not accusing Duisburg Mayor Adolf Sauerland (CDU) and Loveparade organizer Rainer Schaller. Also, that no policeman is sitting in the dock, always causes displeasure.

Can other people be charged?
Eight years after the disaster, this is unlikely. Persons for whom investigations into negligent homicide have not been initiated at the latest five years after the event can not be prosecuted.
This is provided by the statutory limitation periods. Only because of intentional manslaughter could theoretically still be prosecuted.

How did the process go so far?
Over the past 88 process days (most of them quite long), the event has been rolled up in every detail. Injured people, coroners, city officials, firemen and numerous police officers had their say. Altogether there were over 50 witnesses. An opinion was created.
In addition, the screening of video material and documents was on the agenda. Planning and organizational errors at the city and the organizer were quite clear – for example in the selection of the terrain. But also police mishaps on the day of bad luck came again and again into the focus.

What’s next?
The Duisburg district court, which is holding the case in Messe Düsseldorf, has already published further trial dates until April 2019. Then more witnesses are to be heard. The defendants are silent so far.
A non-public legal discussion (scheduled for January 16, 2019) can bring about mutual understanding between all parties. The conversation could clarify whether the criminal proceedings will be continued until a verdict or previously set without a verdict.

In the end, the court must be: Are the really responsible persons in the dock? Can one prove to these ten persons in each case an individual criminal guilt?

Last hope fact finding

One year after the start of the process of the Love Parade, it is becoming clear what many fear: there will probably be no judgment. One last hope for those affected could be the fact-finding.

One year has passed since the punitive trial for the Love Parade disaster began in the large conference hall of the Messe Düsseldorf Congress Center. The 6th Large Criminal Division of Duisburg Regional Court has been dealing there for 88 trial days because there is not enough room for the mammoth procedure in its service building about 25 kilometers down the Rhine. Although the court has set dates until the spring of 2019. However, it is becoming apparent that the trial could soon end without a verdict – despite the fact that the court-appointed appraiser Jürgen Gerlach comes to clear conclusions in the last part of his expertise. Accordingly, it was already clear in the planning phase that the event site was not suitable for the mass spectacle. In addition, the disaster could have been prevented by an “early coordinated demolition” on the day of the event.

At the techno-spectacle Love Parade on July 24, 2010 21 young people were squeezed to death in the crowded access to the former Duisburg freight station, more than 600 people were injured. Because of negligent homicide and negligent assault, six employees of the city of Duisburg and four employees of Lopavent, the private organizer, have to answer. Lopavent belonged to the gym operator Rainer Schaller. He never counted among the accused – as well as the then Duisburg Lord Mayor Adolf Sauerland (CDU).

For the victims and their relatives who participated as co-plaintiffs in the main trial, the process went from the beginning tormenting. They were deeply disappointed with how Schaller and especially Sauerland presented themselves as witnesses in the trial in May. The former mayor dismissed any responsibility in May and missed the opportunity to finally address his personal and personal information to the victims and survivors. Schaller did that, but otherwise the fitness entrepreneur was very careful not to burden himself.

The lawyers of the co-plaintiffs are alarmed

The argument in the spectacular procedure is difficult. Who is responsible for which planning error? What exactly is the individual guilt of each defendant? When the court announced in September that it wished to have a legal discussion with all those involved in the case outside the trial, some of the co-plaintiffs’ lawyers sounded the alarm. It appears that the prosecution also agrees to “follow the court-appointed course of proceeding”, nine of the 65 lawyers said in a letter to North Rhine-Westphalia’s Attorney General Peter Biesenbach (CDU). The Minister must prohibit the prosecution by a directive to agree to the termination of the process. Biesenbach rejected the request in a friendly, but determined way. He respects the “substantive independence” of the prosecutor, which is why he does not exercise his right to give instructions.

4th December 2018

Loveparade trial could be discontinued in January

Is the Love Parade process possibly terminated without judgment? A decision on this could be made on 16 January at the “Legal Talk”.
The Loveparade trial is expected to decide in mid-January whether the trial will continue until a verdict or be terminated without a verdict. The Duisburg Regional Court has invited the involved lawyers to a so-called legal discussion.

Prosecutor, sergeant and defense lawyer can then comment on the progress of the evidence and the preliminary result, as the court announced on Tuesday. The court also wants to make its own assessment. “There should also be a discussion on how the process could be continued,” it said.

Concern about “premature termination of the procedure”

A few months ago, plaintiff attorneys had expressed concern about a premature termination of the case, after presiding judge Mario Plein had announced the appointment without appointment. Plein had then promised: “We will answer the questions that are urgent to answer here, we will say what was the cause of the disaster.” He had not ruled out an attitude: “If we think that one attitude is right, then there is no room for another decision, that is, for a conviction or an acquittal.”

A court spokesman said on Tuesday that the call will take several hours. Up to 75 lawyers can participate: 32 defense lawyers, 37 adjoining lawyers, three prosecutors and the three lawyers of the criminal division. The legal discussion should also be based on a report prepared by the public prosecutor’s office on the occurrence of the tragedy.

At the Loveparade on 24 July 2010 in Duisburg, 21 people were crushed and at least 652 injured at the only entrance and exit to the event area. Six employees of the city of Duisburg and four of the organizer Lopavent are accused. The prosecution accuses them of negligent homicide and negligent assault. (AP)

Highly anticipated legal discussion in the Loveparade trial probably on 16 January

In the criminal proceedings for the catastrophe at the Duisburg Love Parade with 21 deaths, a decision on the progress of the proceedings could be made within a few weeks: Presumably on January 16, the court will conduct its highly anticipated legal discussion with the parties involved in the proceedings so far, including one make their own assessment of the previous evidence, as a court spokesman announced on Tuesday.
After hearing the plans for the legal discussion in September, Opferanwälte had expressed the fear that the Loveparade trial would be discontinued. Statements by the prosecution suggested that “the prosecution is apparently willing to go along with the court’s decision to phase out lawsuits,” attorneys to the co-plaintiffs said.
According to the district court of Duisburg, however, the non-public meeting on January 16 is subject to the proviso that the extensive program of proof planned until then can be completed as planned. In the mammoth process, eight further trial dates are scheduled by the end of the year alone, and negotiations will continue at the beginning of January.
Since December 8 of last year, six employees of the city of Duisburg and four employees of the Loveparade organizer have had to answer for the Loveparade criminal case for negligent homicide or negligent assault.

For reasons of space, the process takes place in a congress center of the Düsseldorf trade fair. At the Loveparade in Duisburg on July 24, 2010, there had been a devastating crush in which 21 people were killed and more than 650 injured.

2nd December 2018

One year love parade process

One year after the beginning of the Loveparade trial, the district court of Duisburg has drawn a positive balance. “The process is progressing rapidly. All parties involved work constructively to clarify the events, “said court spokesman Matthias Breidenstein. A delaying tactics is not recognizable by anyone.

The criminal trial began on 8 December 2017. By the end of the year, the court is expected to have negotiated more than 90 days. An end to the process is not yet in sight, until 26 April 2019 dates are scheduled.

The process is one of the most time-consuming of the postwar period. For reasons of space, the main hearing takes place in a Düsseldorf Congress Hall.

At the Loveparade in Duisburg, 21 people were crushed in July 2010 in a crush and many injured hundreds. Six employees of the city of Duisburg and four of the organizer Lopavent are sitting on the dock. The prosecution accuses them of negligent homicide and negligent assault. On the previous session days it was very much about the question of how it could come to the disaster.

31st November 2018

Many witnesses use accompaniment through pastoral care

In the criminal case of the Love Parade disaster, witnesses use the pastoral accompaniment on the sidelines of the negotiations to an unexpected extent. “We noticed that the circle of victims of the Loveparade is larger than we originally had in mind,” says the board of the foundation “Duisburg 24.7.2010”, Jürgen Widera.

As the pastor further explained to the Evangelical Press Service (epd), this included not only the relatives of the victims and the injured, but also police and fire brigade forces deployed in the 2010 Loveparade disaster in Duisburg, and now testify to the district court of Duisburg as witnesses. The highly anticipated process started a year ago, on December 8, 2017.

The Foundation originally offered pastoral accompaniment primarily with regard to relatives and injured persons. However, according to Widera’s words, it is perceived less by this group of persons than by the witnesses who testify in court. Most of the witnesses used the opportunity to talk to a pastor or psychologist during breaks in their talks or, according to them, the theologian said. “We’ve often seen witnesses stably go into a hearing that takes hours and hours, and at some point you realize they are getting more and more nervous and restless.”

Thus, a witness was so unsettled during her statement by a photo that contradicted her memory, that the judge had to order a break. The present pastor had been able to calm the woman down again during the break. “We are repeatedly certified by the court that we write a piece of legal history with the company,” said Widera.

For the first time in a criminal case

Such a pastoral offer, which is addressed to all those involved in the process, has never happened during a criminal trial. At the Congress Center Dusseldorf, where the criminal proceedings are taking place, there is a pastor or psychologist on each trial day, another is on call.

The interest of the visitors in this process was much lower than expected, even on the part of relatives and injured persons. Widera attributes this to the fact that the criminal process is “in many ways a very dry matter”. In addition, it is often difficult for the parents of the victims, some of whom live abroad, when hearings drag on. If witnesses did not remember specific events, it would not only be unsatisfactory for those affected but also stressful.

Clarification of the cause of the accident

For the progress of the process in the coming year Widera hopes especially on a further clarification of the causes of the accident. “That would also be important for the relatives and many injured,” said the pastor, who is also Ombudsman of the city of Duisburg for the Loveparade victims. “I hear again and again: We are not concerned with convictions, but to learn: Why did our children die? How did it come to this?” He was glad that the court attaches importance to clarify exactly these questions, stressed Widera.

During a crush during the Love Parade on July 24, 2010 in Duisburg with hundreds of thousands of techno fans 21 people were killed. More than 600 were injured.

29th November

Day 85: The radio of a policeman

By Martin Teigeler

The next witness from the ranks of the police appears. The 54-year-old was liaison officer of the police to the “crowd manager”. This should regulate the visitor flows for the organizer company. Together, they worked on July 24, 2010 in a container at the foot of the access ramp, where the disaster happened.

As a liaison officer between police leaders and organizers, the official was mainly responsible for the smooth communication. But even contacting his bosses was difficult.

Growing impatience

After starting work, he did not reach his contact person by mobile phone. The mobile phone network had collapsed at the big event. Landline did not exist. “I have relied on the priority circuit,” says the witness. But such a prioritization of police phone calls had not been set up.

Due to the adverse mobile phone communication, the liaison officer was only able to organize a delay between the police officers and the crowd manager. The manager had become more and more “impatient” during the afternoon and had wanted to talk about barricades.

He had not used his (then analogue) radio, the witness said. At the request of the court, the witness can not explain this conclusively. He thought the mobile phone was the best way to communicate. His radio he had it – it was in his backpack – along with irritant gas and winter hat.

After the Love Parade, the radio had caused speculation in the media. Did not he have a radio at all? Superiors had called him therefore especially in Egypt vacation. By fax, he confirmed in writing that he had a device with him.

“I have never seen such a horrified face”

Back to the day of misfortune: “It was so full at some point that I looked over a sea of ​​heads”, reports the policeman. They had lifted exhausted young girls over the fence to bring them to safety on the container and given them water.

From the police chain on the ramp, the witness wants to “have heard nothing”. Impressively he describes the minutes of the mass panic against 17 clock. “And then it gets fierce,” he says. Accordingly, “several waves” of the panic mass ran against the fence in front of the container for 15 minutes.

“There were heavy waves, so we could barely hold the fence,” says the witness. Then a Loveparade visitor had called him that someone had died in the crowd. He told the crowd manager, “I have never seen such a horrified face,” he describes the reaction of the opposite. Later he had helped to cover the lying on the ground victims with tarpaulins, he says in a husky voice.

28th November 2018

Day 84: Ad absurdum

By Martin Teigeler

The witness hearing of the police dog handler, who was in action with his officials at the scene of the disaster, continues.

Prosecutors, co-plaintiffs and defense lawyers want to know details about the expiration of the accident. Everything revolves around the question of how the dynamics of the throng of tunnels and ramps to the party grounds emerged. The witness speaks of “groups of people with great kinetic energy”. One had been “overrun”. He has to answer many questions about the police and shift changes in the middle of the decisive phase.

Trust in organizers

The 49-year-old witness admits that none of his policemen – contrary to previous plans – was present at the separation facilities in front of the access tunnel. This was because he needed all the task forces at the ramp.

One had never “gotten in the mood” that afternoon, says the witness, who has been with the police since 1988. All operational planning had been led by the circumstances on the ground “ad absurdum”.

Radio problems, cell phone blackout, hierarchical processes – the witness sketches a picture of police powerlessness. He had “trusted” that the organizer closes the facilities when the ramp is full – to take away pressure. But although thousands of police were on duty, apparently no one checked.


Filming of the unlucky day can be seen on the three large screens in the courtroom. In a video, policemen clear the barriers at around 4:30 pm in the critical phase, so that the crowd can flow unhindered towards the ramp. “Stunned” the witness reacts to the pictures.

The police officer says that the number of 150 files on the ramp mentioned by the organizer was “not reached” according to his memoirs. “Very few folders” – so-called “pushers”, which should encourage visitors to go through the tunnel and ramp to the event area quickly – were in action, says the witness.

In the end, the police completely lose control. The deadly mass panic follows. He himself had been “physically harassed” at his insert container at the foot of the ramp, the witness said.

27th November 2018

Day 83: In the eye of the tiger

By Martin Teigeler

In the middle of the accident – “in the eye of the tiger” as he says himself – was the witness today at the Love Parade disaster on July 24, 2010 in Duisburg. The police officer led the hundreds deployed at the ramp and tunnel – where 21 people died in mass panic.

Worrying about “bottleneck situation”

The 49-year-old witness first reported in a long talk about his experiences around the Love Parade. Some things are already known from previous testimonies of police: the internal dispute over duty and shift change, for example.

The police officer says that he and his colleagues have expressed reservations in advance against the Loveparade site on the former Duisburg freight yard. “As after the Second World War” the abandoned terrain looked. A “bottleneck situation”, a “grafting” of people at the entrance to the party grounds was also a topic in advance.

Also that several police vehicles were provided to facilitate barriers in the entrance area, if necessary, he says. Because with “manpower” alone could barricades in the ramp access probably not perform, it was his assessment.

His doubts were left behind by the witness. He assumed that there will certainly be “experience” at such events. On the day of the Love Parade, there was an increasingly dramatic crowd, as visitors could not be channeled up the tunnels and ramp up to the higher technoparty grounds.

Again the police chains

When it comes to the escalation on the day of the disaster, the witness speaks in a halting voice. He talks about the controversial police chains that were the subject of the last days of the trial.

He also says that he has disturbed radio and telephone communication – as well as desperate attempts to clear the increasingly crowded area by the police. He still “hoped” to help people in the crowd – in vain. The witness rubs himself visibly emotionalized with both hands through the face.

The witness pauses for a moment as he reports how he heard the first catastrophe message on the late afternoon of the accident: “Here are dead.” He could not believe that. Until today, the events burden him. “What did you do wrong,” he asks himself. Before his testimony, he had “coached psychologically,” he says. The testimony of the 49-year-old will continue on tomorrow’s trial.

22nd November 2018

Day 82: And suddenly it makes sense

From Zübeyde Sürgit am

It is not easy to understand the role of the police in the Loveparade disaster. We have already heard some senior officials witnesses to the trial, but for the last two days, someone here has finally said that he has experienced and influenced the event directly. It is remarkable that the process will be over for a year. The section leader of the tunnel and ramp sector has today questioned the lawyers.

The prosecution as an opportunity

For a year, we have heard from various sources in the process that the police cops are to blame for or part of the blame for the accident and that the police are therefore in the dock. According to the testimony of this witness, I would have wished that the police had been officially charged with. Then the officials would have sat here with their defenders and the process would have included their view of things from the beginning. After all, it’s basically – I think – in this process to clarify the events rather than a conviction. This assessment is shared by many process participants with whom I have talked. That’s probably why the process is so unpopular and, with the exception of a documentary filmmaker, I’m once again the only journalist on the press screen. That’s a pity. Because the last five days of negotiations have contributed immensely to the understanding of the actions in the tunnel and ramp sector with the statements of the section leader and crowd manager.

The puzzle makes a picture

The motto “no stagnation in the tunnel” gets another meaning when viewed from the perspective of the police officer who testified today. He explains that there has already been a menacing stagnation – at the top of the ramp. That could not be considered separately from the tunnel. At this point you have to get involved in the perspective of the official. Suddenly a different picture emerges and the motivation behind the police tracks becomes a little more comprehensible.

The official refers to his experiences from football matches and the highway police. He cites two main reasons for police chains:

A police cordon takes the pressure off a crowd. This is used, for example, in football matches, when rival fans meet.
A lock could be used to set up a buffer zone. To illustrate this process, the witness adds various everyday examples, such as the situation on the highway after an accident. If everything went according to plan, the police chain at the entrance to the Loveparade site should have been dissolved after only 10 minutes. During this time, an open space would have been created between the blockade and the tunnel. At the same time, the folders at the top of the ramp should have pulled the crowd to the site and cleared access. Finally, the police chain would have been lifted again and the inflowing people could have come to the area faster.
But there are two reasons why this plan went wrong.

The accumulation on top of the terrain has not been resolved. For that the pushers of the organizer were responsible. The official had run out of 100-150 “bouncer edges,” he says. In fact, according to the Crowd Manager only six folders should have been there.
The separation systems at the tunnel entrances should have been tight. Instead, more and more people have poured into the tunnel and have increased the pressure even further.
Finally, I have the impression that this was an official who acted in good faith. But just as someone in the room put it so nicely, the Americans would now say, “The road to bright is paved with good intentions.”

21st November 2018

Day 81: Why Police Chains?

From Zübeyde Sürgit am

“There must be no standstill in the tunnel.” This has been said by every witness who had to do with the planning of the Love Parade. And yet that’s exactly what happened. Moreover, there have been police chains that have kept people in critical territory. Today the policeman says that caused these police chains. His statement is important. The police chains are blamed by some defenders causally for the disaster. The defenders later have the opportunity to include these allegations in the witness’s questioning. Noteworthy today, the police officer comes relatively quickly to the point and explains how it came to the blockades on the ramp and in the tunnel.

Who wanted police chains?

The idea for locks should have had the crowd manager. The witness says they were both in the container together at the ramp to the ramp. Since the situation should have been already tense. The Crowd Manager has proposed two measures to resolve the congestion.

The plan

Firstly, the separation systems at the tunnel entrances should be completely closed in order to prevent downstream flow into the tunnel. Second, a police chain should be built in the middle of the ramp. Then the folders of the organizer should push the people above the lock on the site and distribute. The whole action should take only 10 minutes, says the official. The crowd manager said that he had done this before.


In order to support this measure, more police chains have been set up elsewhere. But the crowd at the entrance to the area could not be distributed. The pressure inside and outside the tunnel became bigger and bigger. The communication between the individual actors was disturbed and much more. The role played by police chains in the catastrophe can probably only be met by the expert opinion of Gerlach, which covers several thousand pages and has not yet been publicly introduced in the process. It is intended to prove that the police chain caused the accident. Within this blog entry, however, I try to keep close to the testimony of the witness and not to let myself get carried away again and again to the question: “Who was actually guilty?” Back to the witness.

Overview lost

The witness reports that he was no longer able to contact his colleagues. “I could not spark, not talk on the phone, because it was so loud. People climbed onto the container and ran over it. “So he decided to climb himself. When he reached the top, he thought: “Gosh, did you misjudge yourself like that?” Then he started to control his colleagues and the people with a gesture and eye contact. This condition he calls “police work from the Stone Age”. It did not work. Then he tried to get the police bus that drove through the crowd to make loudspeaker announcements. That too was not successful. He concludes his free description of the event with the words: “At some point the crowd flowed off – and then. – Then the dead lay there. ”


The witness is tense, but he answers and barely draws the “I can not remember” joker. He does not wear a police uniform and does not have a lawyer. He usually lowers his gaze to the table and at the beginning of the trial he is often asked to speak louder. For the past eight years he has dealt with the disaster on a daily basis. Today he had the opportunity to represent his view of things. In the process, contradictions to previous testimonies have emerged, which will surely be taken up on tomorrow’s day of the hearing.

20th November 2018

Day 80: “They go up the ramp and stop”
By Zübeyde Sürgit

If there is an employee whose skin I would least want to end up with at the Love Parade disaster, then it’s the Crowd Manager. On the third and last day of his testimony, the psychologist summarizes what his duties were. Here are some of his key responsibilities:

Ensure safety in the entrance area

Keep the tunnel clear

Instruct the folders in their tasks

Work directly with the police in the tunnel and in the ramp area

In my view, this list of tasks is at the same time an enumeration of failure. Because as I understood in the course of this procedure, none of the above points has worked flawlessly. And that has probably different reasons. The witness himself puts it this way:

“The Love Parade is a multicausal failure in various places.”

A great title for a scholarly essay or intellectual gibberish, which I would translate as: “Everyone was a bit guilty, but none really.”

In addition to his duties, however, the whereabouts of the 48-year-old during the disaster make me shudder. Because the Crowd Manager was stationed in the white container in the tunnel and coordinated from there the work of the folder.

When the crowds were no longer in control, he and the liaison officer tried to rescue those seeking help by helping them across the fence that was on the container. But behind that fence, too, they were trapped. The people who were forced against the fence in waves from the other side threatened to knock it over, he reports. He had held with all his strength against the fence, so as not to be crushed by it. The memories of these traumatic events are awakened again and the witness says:

“We fought for our lives there. We thought we could not do it. ”

It’s a cell phone video that has been ramped up in this period and presented to him today that upsets the witness. He reacts emotionally and you can tell that the pictures are really upsetting him. Somehow you do not want to torture the man further.

The two prosecutors, who have until then conducted a factual and fluid survey, are stopped at this point. It feels like an invisible border has been crossed here. Because this witness has worked not only on behalf of Lopavent at the Love Parade, he is also a victim of the disaster. Nevertheless, the trial brings at least two aspects that I believe will be important in the process.

Traffic jam at the entrance locks. The organizer should have planned 32 locks that should regulate the flow of visitors into the tunnel. On the day itself, it should have been only half as many. The assumption is that the backwater has caused people to overrun the gates. As a result, the crowding in the tunnel could have escalated. This theory could not be clarified today.
Traffic jam at the ramp head. Control of the masses by the floats on the site did not work as planned. Actually, the visitors should let themselves be pulled along by the floating floats on the grounds. But it turned out differently, says the witness. The Crowd Manager describes the situation as follows: “They go up the ramp and stop. They do not go on. That was at 14 o’clock. The use of police was necessary because people did not listen to the folders. (…) They could already see the floats from there and did not continue with the floats. ”
Tomorrow, the police officer will testify that during the disaster, he led the hundreds in the tunnel and ramp area and was to work with the crowd manager. This ratio should have been difficult. Therefore, it will be interesting to look at the statements side by side.

8th November 2018

Day 79: Set theory

The area where two sets overlap is called the intersection. A set in another set is a subset. The longer I pursue this process, the more witnesses I experience, the more solidified my impression that the actors involved have only looked at their own quantities, are not interested in the intersections and have ignored or classified the subset of neuralgic sites as unimportant.

Not my area

The crowd manager also said in his interrogation yesterday and today again and again that things were outside his sphere of influence: “That was no longer my area,” says the 48-year-old psychologist again and again. “I was not responsible for that.” Several times I’ve heard that from other witnesses. But a major event just can not be divided into a mass of individual quantities. It is a large set of subsets, which in turn make up intersections.

Many items are not necessarily a whole

The witness reports that he had been dismantled from his control room when he reported a dramatic situation at the foot of the ramp and suggested closing the entrances completely. For him, what counted in his area of ​​responsibility and how to solve problems there was first and foremost. What was happening in front of the entrances, he had literally not in view, because he had no camera pictures from there. He was also not responsible for it.
The police outside the event area, in turn, apparently only the brinkligen situations on the Zuwegen in view – the situation within was “the organizer”, as not only the police operations leaderrepeatedly emphasized in his testimony. Although there was support from police units. Their communication with the superiors apparently did not work very well – this impression is solidified in my opinion by the testimony of the witness.

“Memory is a construct”

If that’s how the 48-year-old thinks he remembers. For as the psychologist himself said yesterday: “Memory is a construct”. It tinkers its world. This does not really fuel the hope that this process will bring to light the only true truth.

7th November 2018

Crowd Manager testifies in the Loveparade trial

At that time, the crowd manager was supposed to channel the flow of visitors. According to him, the organizer did not listen to his tips.

It is a story of powerlessness that the witness tells in court. Possible that the psychologist could explain why who acted like in the Love Parade of Duisburg. Only it did not help: The man who was to direct the flow of visitors, called “crowd manager” in German, had to watch on July 21, 2010, how others did what he thought was not right.

That had started early: the entrances had wanted to build differently the security expert, the only entry and exit, where it later came to a deadly crush, he considered “critical”. Everything wiped away by the organizer Lopavent, the 48-year-old tells it in front of the Duisburg district court, which meets in a Düsseldorf exhibition hall. The prosecution had long led the “crowd manager” as an accused, but he does not belong to the ten defendants.

This man probably saw most of what happened back then: he was sitting in a container across from the ramp, watching the tunnel through which people came, even cameras. Likewise his about 150 security guards. What he saw were fences set up early and many more people than announced. Nevertheless: “The usual chaos at such events.” Only it did not stop.

“That can not work”

“Against the agreement” the police had opened the access too early, “that can not work”, he had already known, “Tunnel and ramp may not be full.” The liaison officer at his side had no radio, and he himself had no mobile phone with which he could attend the conference calls. The announced police director did not come, the replacement “did not speak to me”.

The officer had police cordons moved into the crowd, “contrary to what I had proposed.” The crowd manager had nothing left to manage, he saw “people storming” and thought, “Now it’s over here.” He called the command center over the radio: “Cancel, it can not be done!” Back had come: ” You can not assess that. “

No one apparently listened to the paid by the organizer experts. “And then it was bitter.” Together with helpers, he pulled people behind a fence that could not stand the pressure, tried to hold the grid in dread. “I really did not think we could do it.” The witness is one of the clearest in this process, now his voice almost fails him.

As the crowd tears apart, he sees “what happened”. From a dead man, says the 48-year-old, he had initially gone out. “But there were more.” 21 at the end. The security chief can only console his crying people. “You are not to blame.”

Love Parade Process: police chain in the sights

  • Expert for masses says in Loveparade process
  • Crowd Manager criticizes police-formed human chains
  • Alleged communication problems with the local police

In the process around the Loveparade catastrophe in Duisburg on Wednesday (07.11.2018) the so-called crowd manager of the organizer testified as a witness. The psychologist was sitting in a container in the middle of the crowd and was supposed to observe the crowds from there and intervene if necessary.

Discouraged by police

In front of the district court of Duisburg, he spoke to the decisive minutes before the deadly crush. Thus, the human defense chains of the police had been formed against his advice. He had advised to close the entrances to the tunnels. Instead, a police chain was formed without agreement.

Problems in communication

According to the crowd manager, there were also big communication problems between him and the police; inter alia, there was no radio contact with the operations management. Already in the run-up to the Loveparade he had classified the ramp to the event area as particularly dangerous. That’s exactly where mass panic started.

At the Loveparade on July 24, 2010 in Duisburg, it came at the only entrance and exit to the event grounds to such a crush that crushed 21 people and at least 652 were injured. Among other things due to negligent homicide, six employees of the city of Duisburg and four of the organizer Lopavent GmbH are charged.

6th November 2018

Day 77: “We do not want to hear stories here, we want to hear facts”

The day starts with a good 40 minutes delay. Dusseldorf is in a traffic jam. All trams are late, are jam-packed. From the old town to the branch office of the Duisburg district court in the congress center, they have taken ten whole 40 minutes by car instead of ten, according to some co-pleading lawyers. The reason: blocking the Rheinufer tunnel.

Responsibility swept under the carpet?

The questioning of the charged police officer by prosecutors, co-plaintiffs and defense is wooden. As usual, the witness often answers that he can not remember the details. He becomes indignant when the defense lawyers – with the help of annotating questions – obviously do not accept these memory gaps, assume collusion that the police wanted to sweep up potentially damaging facts under the carpet after the accident.

Where were the folders?

Again, the kind of questioning by some of the defenders goes against the grain. In terms of craftsmanship, it may be alright to comment, to make disrespectful remarks, to use ironic adjectives, only: To what extent should this be useful for finding the truth, does not open to me. The goal seems to be rather to unsettle the witness, to make him unbelievable and to once again focus the responsibility on the police. Asked by the lawyer of a Lopavent employee, where the police were when it became critical, the witness said: “I would like to answer this question with a counter question: Where were the folders?” Judge Plein comments: “Something like that happens when stories are told instead of clear questions. We do not want to hear stories here, we want to hear facts,

30th October 2018

Day 75: Even the fire department does not look good

By Dominik Peters on October 30, 2018

“Dat brings nothing here”, the firefighters mission manager is said to have said and shook his head before the lunch break. His former colleague – now witnessing the Loveparade trial – reports on a safety workshop in the spring of 2010. He also believes that the speaker’s lecture was far too general. Interesting: The seminar leader himself has already protested in August as a witness in court, urgently warned against planning errors. How the perceptions differ.

Today it becomes clear that also the fire brigade might have worked with security questions at least inaccurately. A poor escape analysis – part of the fire protection concept – let the witness go through apparently superficial consideration. When asked about safety in the tunnel, he also relied on “being in good hands with the police and the organizers”. The fact that the fire brigade was not loaded to take over the site the day before the event: not much questioned.

Defenders focus on the police

The defenders focus on the day of the event in their testimony. They project photos onto the screens. These are pictures that we already know in a similar form. Pictures of crowds, of broken fences, of the much talked-about police chain: “The question has always stuck in my head: Why this block, this chain at this point at this time?”

Right here, the defenders want the former firefighter well – in the police and their possible complicity in the deadly mass panic. Thus, the survey is less about the work of the fire department on the day of the event. Rather, the questions are focused on how the witness perceived the activities of the police.

Calculated with dead?

The fire department has kept 40 body bags for the Loveparade, notes a defender. He wants to know why the firefighters were shocked after the first death reports. What he wants out of it seems clear: did the fire department expect the catastrophe? The witness explains that empathy is not alien to experienced firefighters. Then he may go.

Policeman leaves many questions unanswered

For the afternoon, the court charges another policeman. Quiet, almost shy, he describes his tasks in the preparation of the police operation. He answers questions from the judge about responsibilities and individual planning decisions. However, he does not really get it concrete, often seems unaware that he says he can not remember or was not involved. Maybe we’ll get smarter tomorrow.

29th October 2018

Day 74: Fire Department, Part II

By Dominik Peters on October 29, 2018

The role of the Duisburg fire department in the Loveparade planning was once topic in the court, as the fire chief and then head of operations testified. Today, his ex-colleague sits in the witness stand, a retired fireman who is now 60 years old – in the lead-up and on the day of the disaster, he was responsible for tactical issues.

He also emphasizes: “We could not be responsible for the creation of this safety concept.” But his point was always that you have to avoid traffic jams in the tunnel: “For me it was clear on this stretch of road there must be no stagnation, no stoppage of Giving visitors. ”

Disagreement on security issues

Again and again the presiding judge directs the focus on the working group AG4, a committee of representatives of fire brigade, city, police and organizer. This working group was not a consulting, but a decision-making body, here was competence, says the witness. Concrete progress in content brings the questions about the AG4 in my eyes, however, not.

More suspense is expected from a month before the event, when a delegation of representatives from various authorities looked at the routes and the venue. Objections to the security concept on the ramp have been commented on by police officers “disrespectfully”, recalls the witness. Again and again it seems that the fire brigade and the police differed on security issues.

However, the corresponding protocol for the on-site visit does not throw a good light on the witness. He should therefore have succinctly rejected questions about the overall concept of the fire department. The witness emphasizes in disbelief that this is not his style. But he can not remember the concrete situation.

“Now comes the freestyle”

The witness states, however, “from a fire protection point of view, no reservations” had. This is also confirmed by written statements by the witness in the run-up to the disaster. The basis for this verdict was apparently the inadequate escape analysis of a Duisburg-based company that already played a role in the process. The witness admits: “If I had expressed reservations, we would not be sitting here today.” On the morning of the event, however, he was sure: “Now comes the free program.”

Has the fire department adequately fulfilled its duties? Could a resolute veto by the fire service have prevented the catastrophe? Clear answers do not come this day. Perhaps the questions of co-plaintiffs, prosecutors and the usually well prepared defense lawyers will bring more insights tomorrow.

21st October 2018
Survivors of the Love Parade disaster fear that the process will be stopped prematurely. Co-plaintiffs write a letter to the Minister of Justice. But he stays idle. The presiding judge is outraged.
Gust times ten viewers and two journalists pursue on this October the process. In the because of the initially great interest in the courtroom converted convention center at the Dusseldorf Exhibition Center, the judges with the ten defendants, their defenders, the prosecutors and co-plaintiffs for months largely under himself.
In one of the largest criminal cases of the postwar period, the court tries to clarify who is to blame for the fact that at the Loveparade on July 24, 2010 during a mass panic on a former Duisburg freight yard area 21 people died and 652 visitors were seriously injured. On this 71st day of the trial the fire protection expert Rainer Jaspers will be heard as a witness. He reports on jitters, jealousies and emotional discussions between representatives of the city, the fire brigade and the organizer in the run-up to the techno-spectacle. “It got hot,” he says. But Jaspers’ statement seems to deflate prosecutors like defendants, they show no emotion – everything looks like business as usual.
18th October 2018

On the day of the Love Parade 2010, the Federal Police was responsible for the security at Duisburg Central Station. A “mammoth task” – because of the difficult to predict visitor numbers, reports the 50-year-old federal police officer. His testimony had been canceled the day before because of a medical condition . Today, the witness can detail how he experienced July 24, 2010.


At that time, the official led the federal police headquarters – by telephone from his headquarters in Sankt Augustin. The judge asks him if he saw “the mischief” on the day of the disaster. The witness says no. “Frightened,” he had responded when in the late afternoon first reports of two deaths arrived in Duisburg on the senior staff. He had previously known about “stagnations” of the streams of people.

His statement coincides with reports of previous witnesses from the ranks of the NRW state police, which was responsible for the use on the Techno grounds: The disaster had received the often poorly informed officials, according to their own information, surprised . So, if all these testimonies are correct, the police officers were largely unaware.

Also at other points today’s testimony is similar to previous police records: For example, how federal and state police in the run-up to the event, the city of Duisburg and the organizers granted with their plans. At the closing meetings no concerns were raised, the witness said. And the witness does not want to know anything about police lanes in the area of ​​access ramps and tunnels, which possibly exacerbated the mass panic.

Berlin turns on

The witness continues to report a great deal of activity in the hours after the catastrophe. The federal ministry responsible for the Federal Police, with its Crisis Management Department, had requested a report during the night. Apparently, Berlin was worried about media reports, according to which the federal police might not only have been responsible for the Duisburg central station, but also for the directly adjacent techno grounds on the former freight yard.

Internal reports of the Federal Police are read in the courtroom. Almost trivial banal sounds the police report. There is talk of “very good cooperation” with the state police. A single case of injury at the main station is mentioned: a “sprain on the hand”. As a reminder: at the Loveparade, a few hundred meters away, 21 people died. Over 650 people were injured.

17th October 2018

Paramedics run up the stairs to the courtroom in the Dusseldorf fair. Doctors and helpers rush in. Emergency in the Loveparade process . One of the supplementary lawyers needs medical help in the late morning. The man is taken to the hospital. The day of the trial is already over at 11.30 clock, as always all aldermen must be present. Tomorrow should go on, the court tells later. Obviously the supplementary adjudicator is better again – there is no further information.

The next policeman as a witness

In just under two hours before the meeting is aborted another policeman is a witness. The now 50-year-old official sat on the day of the Love Parade disaster in the headquarters of the Federal Police. The security expert was also involved in the preparations for the major event.

The witness gives first a rough overview of his memories around the Love Parade 2010 in Duisburg. Like many witnesses, the man does not remember everything so well. He names, for example, a false name for a colleague of the city of Duisburg. He states that the pressure from the country and the community to have the Loveparade take place was “quite high”.

“In the end, the event happened then,” he says towards the end of his brief talk. Before the judge can inquire more accurately to the day of the “incident”, to the day of the catastrophe , the medical emergency ends the meeting. Tomorrow the federal police officer is again expected as a witness in the courtroom.

Schöffe ill – Loveparade process interrupted

By Martin Teigeler

  • Medical emergency in the Loveparade process
  • Supplementary secretary hospitalized
  • Continuation of the hearing on Thursday (18.10.2018)

There was an incident in the Loveparade process. One of the additional adjudicators had to be treated as an emergency doctor on Wednesday (17.10.2018) in Dusseldorf and hospitalized. The trial day was subsequently terminated.

About the severity of the disease was officially not known. Later, the court announced that the trial day on Thursday (18.10.2018) should take place as planned.

All aldermen and supplementary adjudicators must always be present in the trial, according to a spokesman for the District Court of Duisburg. If one of them is sick, the sessions will fail.

Testimony of a federal police officer

Only in the case of a permanent illness could the trial be continued without the jury member concerned. At the time of the demolition was just the witness examination of a federal police officer.

The criminal process takes place for reasons of space in the Dusseldorf fair. At the Loveparade 2010 in Duisburg 21 people died in a mass panic. Hundreds were injured.

16th October 2018

A witness appears, from which all those involved in the process could actually expect a lot of specialist knowledge: doctorate, fire protection expert, safety engineer. For the Love Parade 2010 in Duisburg, the expert created the fire protection concept. The witness can also tell in detail about exciting questions such as the evacuation of masses of visitors at major events – but more generally and theoretically.

Because quickly stressed the 64-year-old that he was not responsible for the access zone with tunnel and ramp – so for that area where the mass panic happened. He had created his concept rather for the actual party area where the techno cars drove, says the man with the white-gray hair.

“Hot” preparation session

“In the tunnel we were by no means”, he says during his questioning when it comes to a tour of the Loveparade site shortly before the event on July 24, 2010. In response to the demand of the presiding judge Mario Plein, how he got to the techno site, the witness has to admit: “Of course we went through the tunnel.” The witness himself seems a little amused by this contradiction. Even in the courtroom is quietly giggled.

The witness reports on a preliminary meeting with representatives of the city of Duisburg, fire brigade and organizer on July 15, 2010. It was said “hot here” gone. But when open questions about access via tunnel and ramp came up, it was said that a different working group was in charge. When asked by the prosecutor, the witness says several times, he could not remember. Or: “That was not my job.”

About the time after the catastrophe with 21 dead and over 650 injured, the witness reports that he had been “cheekily turned on” in a press release. Incidentally, he did not write an invoice for the fire protection concept he had created after the accident.

The questioning of the engineer is over. Tomorrow a police officer will be questioned.

5th October 2018

Do you like to browse through phone books? Neither do I. But that’s the beginning of the day in the courtroom. The presiding judge Mario Plein has two police communication plans read out. Dozens of police officers are listed in the tables along with their names, areas of application, radio channels and telephone numbers. Sure, that’s important to understand the organization of police communication. But it’s also so dry that even the chief prosecutor yawns at the other end of the hall.

Radio protocols for the public

Somehow today I have the feeling that we are spinning in circles. Again questions to the witness, a former police chief inspector, which he answered in similar form yesterday . Although one of the defenders sums up in the end, the testimonies “were not justifiable to normal human understanding.” But have not the details on wireless problems and police hierarchies been discussed enough? Or am I wrong and would it be negligent to let the chance for meticulous police investigation elapse?

The presiding judge has clearer ideas. He begins late in the morning to read radio protocols from the police, even if some participants do not consider it necessary. Plein explains that to do so for the public: “I think that’s important.” Clear: The goal of this process is maximum transparency. Although sometimes that is very exhausting.

Dead message via private mobile phone

Around 3 pm, the first reports of the injured appear in the protocol – people with irregular heart rates and people with lacerations. At 15:10, a policeman asks his colleague: “Where are you? We have to meet. Your radio is horrible “. Not the only indication of poor radio quality. Some Anfunk attempts go nowhere, sometimes only word fragments come through. At 17:01, a police officer calls the police and reports one or two dead people using his private mobile phone. 

The reading of the radio protocols takes several hours. Every detail in the short notation, numbers and times are written in small numbers by Plein and his colleagues. All the more, I hope that this tough Friday afternoon will someday contribute to the truth. 

4th October 2018

WAZ: Biesenbach does not intervene in Loveparade process

NRW Justice Minister Peter Biesenbach (CDU) will not intervene in the criminal case for the Love Parade disaster. He has informed eleven lawyers of the co-plaintiffs in a reply, reported by the WAZ (Friday edition). The letter is ahead of Zeitugn. The lawyers had expressed the fear that the process could be terminated after a legal discussion in the spring. Biesenbach had asked them in a letter to instruct the prosecutor’s office not to agree. He has “not only to respect the judicial independence enshrined in Article 97 of the Basic Law, but also to respect the independence of the prosecutors”, writes the Minister. An instruction would only be considered if the responsible Attorney General or the Attorney General ”

Is Loveparade Process suspended?

  • Dispute over protest letter in the Loveparade criminal case
  • Co-plaintiffs fear cessation of proceedings
  • Presiding judge promises thorough education

In the Loveparade trial, there is a conflict between court and co-plaintiffs. The occasion was a letter from several lawyers to NRW Minister of Justice Peter Biesenbach ( CDU ). Is an attitude of the procedure threatening?

According to the court, the Loveparade trial has no reason to worry about a premature termination of the trial. “It is very important to me that after the trial ends, we can say why the children of the co-plaintiffs have died and why many have been injured,” Judge Mario Plein said on Thursday (04.10.2018) in the direction of several co-claims. Lawyers.

The 2010 accident in Duisburg was only started at the end of 2017 after years of legal turmoil.

Letter to Justice Minister Biesenbach

The cause for Plein’s comments was a letter from several co-plaintiff lawyers to Justice Minister Biesenbach. In the letter, about ten lawyers express their concern about stopping the proceedings. Under the Code of Criminal Procedure, this is possible under certain conditions if the court, defendant and public prosecutor agree with it.

The Minister should prohibit the prosecutor to take such a step, the signatories demanded. Only then could there be a judgment. A voluntary termination of the procedure would be no citizen understand.

Minister rejects intervention

Biesenbach loudly refuses to intervene in the process – this is clear from his reply to the co-plaintiff, which is the WDR present. A corresponding instruction would therefore only be considered if the responsible Attorney General “wrongfully intervene against a legally incorrect public prosecutor’s treatment” . He has no clues.

Among other things for negligent homicide ten employees of city Duisburg and organizer company are charged. Policemen, on the other hand, were not charged.

The fears of the co-plaintiff lawyers refer to a so-called legal discussion announced by Plein, probably in the spring of 2019. Until then, however, there are still numerous days of negotiations with important witnesses.

2nd October 2018

The Loveparade procedure threatens the early termination

After 68 days of negotiations it looks as if the Loveparade procedure will be terminated. Co-plaintiffs want to prevent that.

For years, the process was contested. Now it is clear that the legal processing of the Duisburg Love Parade disaster with ten defendants prematurely and without judgment comes to an end.

“One can not rule out that the procedure with conditions is set,” said Julius Reiter yesterday the WAZ. The Düsseldorf lawyer, one of the pioneers of a lawsuit, co-plaintiff and representative of about 100 victims, responded to the invitation to a legal discussion in early 2019, which has sent the presiding judge Mario Plein to the parties involved in the process.

Just a balance?

“We will take stock of the current status of the procedure and discuss how it can proceed,” explained Matthias Breidenstein, spokesman for the Duisburg district court. If the court, prosecution and defense agree, the case could be closed. The attorneys of the co-plaintiffs are present, but have no direct influence on the decision.

Eleven of them have therefore signed a letter to NRW Justice Minister Peter Biesenbach (CDU), in which they express their fear that the prosecutor will relent. Initiator Franz Xaver Paul, a lawyer from Munich, suspects in the letter that “cost savings, relaxation of the staffing situation in the judiciary, impending statute of limitations” could be motives for an attitude. The “would be in the sad and scandalous history of the Love Parade a full-blown judicial scandal as an end”. Biesenbach should prohibit the prosecutors “by ministerial order … to agree to a termination of the proceedings”. Thus he could “avert heavy political damage from the state of North Rhine-Westphalia”.

It’s not about punishment at any price

Paul admits in the conversation with the WAZ that the step is “unusual”. But he wanted the enlightenment to continue and give a verdict “that is verifiable for everyone”. He was not concerned that “anyone will be punished at any price.” But complex procedures ended too often with attitudes against fines. So it was at the airport fire or the railway disaster in Eschede. Paul: “Judging such a process is one of the core tasks of the courts. If they can not do that, they’ll kill themselves. “

Reiter did not sign the letter. “I can not ask a minister for something that I myself would not do as Minister of Justice, namely interfere in a trial.” He emphasizes that he nevertheless does not wish it to be discontinued. For him, law enforcement is not the most important thing. “In the first place is for me the education, secondly the compensation of the victims.” Despite difficult conditions, the opening of the process was mandatory, “because the rule of law must not capitulate before.”

Reiter finds that the Enlightenment is progressing well, the course of the proceedings was “according to the circumstances, good”. “That’s why it hurts a lot if it were stopped now,” says Paul.

Reiter, however, already belonged to the juries before the trial, which the prosecutor held to base their charges only on planning and approval of the Loveparade and to leave the police out. Both the second opinion and the statements of police officers in the process attributed much more responsibility to the police. “So,” said Reiter, “the case is back in the political space.” It had been devastating that the then NRW Interior Minister Ralf Jäger had immediately put before his officials.

Not to prove individual guilt?

Conversely, process observers understand why the process could be ended prematurely: After 68 days of negotiations, the insight seems to be growing, which coincides with the early prognosis of the Cologne defense lawyer Björn Gercke, who represents an employee of the organizer: “You will not one of the ten defendants an individual You can prove guilt. “See the prosecutor’s office as well, in the spring would probably be over. For Franz Xaver Paul that would be a serious mistake. Not only with regard to the victims, but also in the sense of the accused: “If they are innocent, they have the right to an ordinary acquittal.”

27th September 2018

Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger: Love Parade Process: Victims Attorneys fear termination of proceedings – Brand letter to NRW Justice Minister Peter Biesenbach

Loveparade trial: Victims’ Attorneys fear that the case will be closed – Brand letter to NRW Justice Minister Peter Biesenbach

Cologne. Twelve victims’ lawyers in the trial for the deadly Love Parade disaster in Duisburg fear that the mammoth procedure will be discontinued at the beginning of next year. The court announced a legal discussion for the beginning of 2019, in order to “settle the procedure in the consensus”, write the Nebenklagevertreter in a letter to NRW justice minister Peter Biesenbach (CDU), which is the “Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger”. They ask Biesenbach for support. The victims’ lawyers fear that the proceedings against the ten defendants are to be filed – in the maximum case against the payment of a cash, writes the newspaper. Prosecutors’ statements suggested that “the public prosecutor’s office is apparently willing to go along with the court’s decision to close the case,” the letter to the minister in five pages said. “Such a view is fundamentally wrong and rationally incomprehensible.”

The Ministry of Justice did not comment on the letter on Wednesday. They did not want to anticipate the Minister’s reply, they said. Matthias Breidenstein, spokesman for the Duisburg district court, confirmed that the competent criminal tribunal “would like to hold a legal discussion at the beginning of next year”. At the same time, however, he made it clear that the public prosecutor’s office, the defense lawyers and the second prosecutor’s representatives would attend the meeting. The meeting also served to “share views on how the process should be continued”.

Is the Loveparade process suspended?

Duisburg victim lawyers fear a termination of the criminal proceedings for the disaster at the Duisburg Love Parade with 21 dead.

The Duisburg Criminal Division had announced a legal discussion for the beginning of next year to “settle the case by consensus,” write twelve auxiliary plaintiffs in a letter to the North Rhine-Westphalia Minister of Justice Peter Biesenbach (CDU), on the “Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger” am Thursday reported.

The plenipotentiaries of the co-plaintiffs therefore ask Biesenbach for support. According to the newspaper, they fear that the case against the ten defendants should be filed – in the maximum case against the payment of money.

According to the five-page letter, prosecutors’ statements suggest that “the prosecution is apparently willing to go along with the court’s decision to close the case”. “Such a view is fundamentally wrong and rationally incomprehensible.”

Since December, six staff members of the city of Duisburg and four employees of the Loveparade organizer have had to answer for the Loveparade criminal proceedings for negligent homicide or negligent assault. At the Technofestival in Duisburg on 24 July 2010, there had been a devastating crush, in which 21 people were killed and more than 650 injured.

The Dusseldorf Ministry of Justice initially expressed, according to “Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger” not to the letter. It should not be anticipated Biesenbach’s answer. The Duisburg district court spokesman Matthias Breidenstein confirmed that the criminal court “would like to hold a legal discussion at the beginning of next year”.

At the same time Breidenstein made it clear that in addition to the court, the public prosecutor’s office, the defense lawyers and the sideline representatives would take part in this gathering. The meeting also served to “share views on how the process should be continued”.

Co-plaintiffs write a letter of fire to ministers

Could the Loveparade process end with a deal? In the meantime, that seems possible. Some co-plaintiffs complain to NRW Justice Minister Biesenbach – and demand that he intervene.

By Christian Parth, Dusseldorf

The trial for the 2010 Love Parade disaster in Duisburg could end prematurely without judgment. Thirteen plaintiff representatives have signed a letter to NRW Justice Minister Peter Biesenbach in which they express their fear that the deal could lead to a deal. If the court, public prosecutor and defense lawyer agree, the procedure could be suspended under financial conditions.

“Unfortunately, announcements by the prosecutors have revealed that the prosecution is apparently willing to go along with the court’s decision to dismiss the lawsuit,” says SPIEGEL. But one attitude equals a “full-blown justice scandal”.

The background of the letter is a legal discussion, to which the presiding judge has invited the persons involved in the proceedings. “The meeting should take place in early 2019,” said Matthias Breidenstein, spokesman for the Duisburg district court. “It will take stock of the current state of the proceedings and discuss how it can go on.A theoretical option would also be the termination of the procedure under certain conditions.”

Since the plaintiff is heard in this legal discussion, but has no influence on a decision, plaintiff representative Franz Paul wants to increase the pressure on the prosecutor. He is the author of the letter to the Minister of Justice.

The letter is explosive, because the signatories ask Biesenbach, by ministerial order “to forbid the prosecutors to agree to an attitude”.

“That’s certainly an unusual step,” admits Paul. Of course, he did not want the minister to interfere with the substantive work of the prosecutors. But: “If it were not possible in the end to arrive at a judgment in the ten years to the statute of limitations, this would, in my view, a disgrace to the judiciary as a whole.”

The Ministry of Justice has confirmed receipt of the paper on request. “An answer is in progress,” said a spokesman. However, not all adjunct representatives have joined the letter. For some, an attitude is conceivable, but only under strict conditions.

“Hit in the face”

It should not be something like “a new ‘case Edathy’, said the Berlin victims ‘lawyer Khubaib Ali Mohammed:” At that time, the defendant despite enormous allegations, not two hours after the posting in social networks spread that’ his guilt was not determined That was a slap in the face for the victims and the entire judiciary. ”

The lawyer wants to prevent that “a group of offenders, as in the case of the Love Parade, which for more than eight years by non-participation makes the investigation more difficult” in the cessation of the procedure can escape, “without first a commitment to blame and the possibility for queries given for the victims. ”

Whether the defendants and their lawyers get involved in it is uncertain. The 68th day of the trial is already underway and the taking of evidence has so far failed to deliver anything worth mentioning with regard to the clarification of the question of guilt. On the contrary: It turns out more and more that the ten defendants – six employees of the city of Duisburg and four employees of the organizer Lopavent – Although involved in the planning, but not ultimately responsible for the fact that the Love Parade despite numerous concerns about the security concept took place Has.

“On the wing”

Neither the then mayor Adolf Sauerland and his security department head Wolfgang Rabe nor the Lopavent boss Rainer Schaller or the police chief of operations sit on the dock. They were only heard as witnesses in court and had a legal responsibility. In particular, the empathielose appearance Sauerland had raised victims and relatives.

Even Gabi Müller does not think much of Paul’s advance: “What would throw a light on our judiciary,” said co-plaintiff Müller, whose son was killed in the then mass panic. She had received the letter in advance, but the whole thing was “between the door and Angel happened.” “It would have been better to vote something like this in a joint meeting, but this only creates more chaos than already prevails.”

However, Müller also sharply criticizes the investigating authority: “The prosecution has written an indictment from which the people in charge have simply been removed, and now we stand there and must fear that nobody will be held accountable in the end only scandal. ”


26th September 2018

Love Parade Criminal Trial: Police Chief Kuno Simon testified
Published on September 26, 2018 by Petra Grünendahl

Only a specific hazard scenario
could have prevented the event

By Petra Grünendahl

“Even with the opening of the site and the separation facilities, a large visitor pressure had built up,” confirmed Kuno Simon, who worked as a police leader on the day of the Love Parade in Duisburg. On the morning of the event, bulldozers were still driving up the grounds to condense the ground, while already at 9 o’clock the first Loveparade visitors streamed over the main station to Duisburg. Instead of 10 clock, the site was opened after 12 clock. And at that time, a massive pressure had already built up in front of the event site, which was also according to Kuno Simon’s statements at the separation facilities to the Karl-Lehr-Straße (on the Düsseldorfer Straße in the west and Grabenstraße / Kommandantenstraße in the east).

In the criminal proceedings against “Dressler and others” the 6th large criminal court of the regional court Duisburg had loaded since 2013 retired police officer Kuno Simon as witnesses. Against the now 68-year-olds had been determined after the Love Parade first: The investigation, however, were discontinued. He was not directly involved in the planning process, admitted Simon, so he has learned much only from reports from colleagues. The presiding judge Mario Plein let the head police director (LPD) at that time first tell: In the year 2007 he was confronted for the first time with the Loveparade, so Simon, when they come into the Ruhr area and 2010 should also take place in Duisburg. He had inspected the site of the old freight yard (“Aurelis site”) before it was finally designated as an event site. “I was not happy with the choice of location.” And more: “There was nowhere in Duisburg for such an event,” affirmed Simon. An assessment shared by former police chief Rolf Cebin. Simon described what he had learned from the plans to a visit the day before the event. On 24 July, he had taken over the late shift as a police leader: From 12.30 clock, he had been at his site – until after the event.

According to Simon’s story, Judge Plein probed with questions, chronologically tried to work up the plans as far as they were known to Kuno Simon, as well as the events on the day of the event. Plein confronted the former police chief in a chronological fashion with statements from the planning, memoranda, and police logs from the day of the event to put his statements in context with other statements and events. In particular, he asked in detail what role the individual defendants had played in the planning and how the witness had perceived them. Here, the retired police officer could hardly help, because he was not directly involved in the planning and had not participated in meetings of the working groups accordingly. The impression that in particular the city’s employees, as an approval authority, had been under political pressure to make the Love Parade possible in Duisburg, was already confirmed by Kuno Simon. Since December 2017, six employees of the city of Duisburg (construction supervision) and four employees of Loveparade organizer Lopavent have been responsible for the negligent homicide in 21 cases as well as negligent assault in front of the 6th large criminal division of the Duisburg district court.

The responsibility of the police

“The police were in three operations on the day of the event,” Kuno Simon said. The first two areas were the distance from the station to the separation plants to the Karl-Lehr-Straße at the Düsseldorfer Straße and at the Grabenstraße / Kommandantenstraße. “The individual section leaders on the access roads had far-reaching decision-making powers in their area,” reports Kuno Simon. However, the section leaders would have had to communicate their decisions so that all involved police units would know the state of affairs.

As a third area, the retired police officer identified at the top of the venue where the police were pursuing small offenses such as theft, drug or sex offenses. The path from the separation plants to the ramp was completely the responsibility of Lopavent, Simon said. If it was confirmed that the tunnel had become too full, Lopavent should have shut down the separation facilities under its responsibility. For the people who would not have had access to the site, then the police would have been responsible again. What came through the isolation, was the responsibility of the organizer. A police operation on the Karl-Lehr-Straße would therefore only on request by the organizer and its support possible.
“If we had been able to name a specific hazard potential in the planning phase, we would have had to cancel the Love Parade in Duisburg,” the then police chief explained the framework in which the police could have prevented the event. “But we did not have such a concrete scenario!”

Love Parade disaster Relatives of the victims fear a failure of the process

Axel Spilcker

Duisburg –
The process surrounding the deadly Loveparade disaster in Duisburg is ongoing. On Wednesday, the 67th day of the trial, former police chief Kuno S. had to testify. Originally, he was one of the accused in the complex, because the investigation of the techno party in July 2010 also blatant errors of mission led to light.

For example, a police blockade in the access tunnel to the Raver Festival, which caused a mass panic with 21 dead and 652 injured. However, the witness wants to have learned about this later.

Ten defendants

Like so many other decision-makers, S. missed the dock for formal legal reasons. The six accused employees of the city of Duisburg (construction supervision) and the four co-accused Loveparade organizers of the Lopavent company follow the descriptions of the former police leader, who rejects responsibility for the tragedy: regret, certainly, but failure, no.

So it has been since the beginning of the trial in December 2017 with many witnesses, the evidence is difficult, the search for the culprits for the negligent homicide seems at least criminally far off.

Do the wrong people sit in the dock?

Much has a taste. More and more, persistent inquiries from the presiding judge of the 6th Grand Criminal Division, Mario Plein, reveal that perhaps the wrong people are sitting in the dock.

That everyone in the Duisburg town hall relied on the others and that ultimately they were driven to political pressure from above according to the motto eye-to-and-through the techno visitors into misfortune. Which of the defendants is actually responsible for the planning errors?

“So far, we are from the clarification of the question of guilt as far away as at the beginning of negotiations,” complains the victim’s lawyer Rainer Dietz against the “Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger”. “Perhaps it will never come to that.” Finally, the chamber chairman announced several times for the upcoming spring a legal discussion with all those involved in the process, “to bring the proceedings by consensus a settlement.”

Brand letter to the Minister

For plaintiff attorney Franz Paul, this means in plain language that the proceedings against the ten defendants will be suspended in the maximum case against the payment of a cash deposit. Therefore, Paul and eleven other co-plaintiffs have sent a letter to NRW Justice Minister Peter Biesenbach (CDU): “Unfortunately, statements by the prosecutors have revealed that the prosecution is apparently willing to go along the way to the cessation of proceedings,” it says in the five-page letter that the “Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger” is available.

Chief policeman at the Loveparade felt “discomfort”

Ute Black Forest

In the Loveparade trial, the Einsatzleiter testifies as a witness. From the beginning he saw the way as a problem: “This is a number too big for us.”

At home, the night after, he was “almost collapsed,” says Kuno Simon, the man who was on-site on the day of the Duisburg Love Parade. The only policeman against whom he was charged as an accused. He was accused of improper conduct, and on 24 July 2010, he took care of visitors when fatalities were already approaching the entrance to the techno party. Kuno Simon was never charged. Yesterday, on the 67th day of the trial in the case of the disaster, says the now retired Chief Police Director: as a witness.

The police felt the pressure of politics

The 68-year-old looks tense, despite open collar under the dark suit. As Head of the Directorate for Security and Law Enforcement at the Duisburg Presidium, he was responsible for the preparation and “completion” of the major event. He never had a good feeling, Simon says: “At the time, we thought that was not feasible.” It was 2007 when the first considerations were made to bring the Loveparade to the Ruhr area. Even in 2009, when it was clear that she would come (“the political will was there”), and that she should take place at the old freight yard, he remained after a site visit: “That’s not possible.” “Discomfort,” recalls Simon., “Prepared me from the beginning the supply and discharge of the spectators on the Karl-Lehr-Straße”. He had “hawked” that, asked the chief of police to present the concerns to the mayor. But he refused. “He probably did not want to be the spoilsport who is to blame for canceling the event.”

He was told that, according to Simon, “Separation systems” would be installed in front of the entrances of the Karl-Lehr tunnel, “equipped with very strong folders.” That there would be “lion cages” in the tunnel for spectators who wanted to leave the grounds; and “pushers” on the ramp, which would drive the audience on, it should falter. In addition, he had been “carried” that Staufor Schreckenberg thought the concept was viable. In the end, however, his “concerns have been resolved, all contentious issues clarified and solutions to problems found.” But the queasy feeling did not leave him: “That’s one size too big for us, I thought.”

Chaos at the tunnel

On the day of the accident, Kuno Simon takes over the task force at 12.40. He tells how observers kept him informed about the “filling”, how to steer the masses via access routes, how about 4 pm a “solidification” was recorded on the ramp and he had the tunnel access blocked. How the lock at the western entrance “was apparently lifted” as he requested a hundred from their break at the Wedau Stadium, which should help to lock the tunnel again. He estimates 30 minutes, it took him until the spot was. During this time, people on the crowded ramp were already fighting for their lives.

At about 5 pm, the chief of operations learns of a first dead man – about a 110 emergency call in the presidium, not of his local team. “We were completely flat, knocked down!”

Memory gaps – as with other witnesses

All this tells Simon, without having to look in his notes, 45 minutes long, fluent, obviously trying to contribute to the clarification. But in the questioning by Judge Mario Plein, as with so many witnesses in this lengthy, grueling procedure also with him large memory gaps become clear.

With 30 short notes and radio messages about the situation on the site, which reached the operations center, sometimes in the minute, Plein confronts him. Simon remembers only a few. So many questions remain open even after his first, seven-hour interrogation. Why, for instance, did the commandant not know about the police lanes on the ramp. In the wrong place, as reviewer Jürgen Gerlach recently explained. He makes them responsible for the accident.

But the fact that Interior Minister Jäger did not distract him during his visit to the operations center reminds the witness exactly. “He did not stay long with us. And I did not get a visit from a minister for the first time. ”


20th September 2018

Day 65: No drunks, but dead

By Martin Teigeler

No witness is like the other. On the previous day, a policeman from Duisburg, who has been on duty for 40 years, was rather taciturn, closed-minded and presented with major memory gaps. “Lakonisch” had been the statement of the official, joked a defender.
Today, another generation of policeman sits in the witness box – with a different style. The still almost boyish police officer was on the day of the Duisburg Love Parade disaster not yet 30 years old. The 38-year-old appears in the courtroom in a smart suit. He appears fresh-haired, communicative, open-minded – almost as if he had attended at least two rhetoric seminars.
On the day of the disaster, the then beginner in police headquarters was responsible for the telephone contact to the force collection point of the Einsatz-Hunderschaften at the Duisburg stadium. It quickly becomes clear in the testimony: Even this rather young man has simply forgotten much in connection with the Love Parade.
Elongated versions – and when it gets exciting memory gaps

The policeman can say almost nothing or nothing at important preparatory meetings in which he participated in 2010. The witness describes in great detail and with love for the bureaucratic detail how internal police reports and rosters were written – but on the subject of the Love Parade, his memory regularly strikes.
The witness remembers how in the late afternoon of July 24, 2010, the first report about two fatalities in the police command staff arrived. It was “completely surprised”, he reports. At first he thought that the victims were drunks or unconscious. But a little later, the death toll rose to 15.
In the end, 21 people were dead. Hundreds were injured in the mass panic on the techno parade.
The witness will be interviewed next week.

19th September 2018

Day 64: From Gladbeck to Duisburg

By Martin Teigeler

“That it could come to that, was also and above all errors of the responsible operational control in North Rhine-Westphalia.” With these words apologized today the NRW state parliament for police error with the Gladbecker hostage drama from 1988. Perhaps also in the case of the Duisburger Loveparade Unfortunate resolution of 2010 – especially since the Diet had once rejected a committee of inquiry.

In witness interviews of police officers in the Loveparade process solidified namely a bleak picture: The police supported the failed security concept. The police were badly organized on the day of the disaster, their communication via radio and telephone failed. Officials formed in the midst of crowds spontaneously and without consultation with the senior staff police chains – what the mass panic probably tightened. Also the new expert opinion for the process complains the police. But there is not a single policeman on the dock.

“Not malicious” or “hanebüchen”?

On the second day of his testimony, a 57-year-old policeman from Duisburg appears increasingly unsettled. With many inquiries from defenders and co-plaintiffs, he rubs his hands nervously. It was “not malicious” that he could not remember many details of the Love Parade, says the witness. A defense attorney blares him, “They do not want to.” A sideline lawyer considers the witness’s behavior, which refers to memory gaps over and over again, as “hanebüchen”.

The witness describes how he worked on 24 July 2010 on the police headquarters. “It was a base grunt,” he describes the atmosphere in the situation center. In the midst of the hustle and bustle, the then Interior Minister Ralf Jäger (SPD) paid a visit to the police.

There are demands from the defense lawyers for police operations. The witness says it may have taken “ten minutes,” before the officials responded to a new location on the ramp and tunnel to the techno grounds. From staff to hundreds to section leaders and back. The hierarchical police apparatus was evidently unable to respond quickly to the fatal escalation on the afternoon of the disaster.

“Shock Rigor” had prevailed in the senior staff after the first reports of the dead, says the witness. The defense lawyers, representing the ten accused employees of the city of Duisburg and organizer company, then read long before comments. A defender speaks of “blind leadership” in the police at the end of the trial.

18th September 2018

12th September 2018

The role of the police in the Loveparade

Duisburg. In the trial for the Love Parade disaster in July 2010, only police officers were and will be heard in September before Duisburg district court, which hears twice a week in Dusseldorf.

By Peter Kurz

Officials on duty on the day of the accident with 21 dead and more than 650 injured. But they only testify. Accused is not responsible from the ranks of the police. Ten people in charge of planning are in charge of the city of Duisburg and the Loveparade organizer Lopavent.

The WDR reports now, he had taken a look at the not yet published preliminary report of the expert Jürgen Gerlach. After that, the police could also take some responsibility. A police cordon could have triggered the accident. This chain of police was supposed to hold back the ever-increasing crowds on the combined entrance and exit ramps of the site. As the pressure on both sides of the police chain grew and the police finally withdrew, people were bumping into each other from two directions. In the crowd many would have seen a stairway as a way out, at the foot of which many of the 21 dead were found. However, the WDR reports to the expert, the police would not have been forced to act if it had not already given planning errors in advance. Thus, especially the access system to the terrain was unsuitable.

An indictment of police officers is no longer possible because of statute of limitations. Nevertheless, the defenders insist that the interrogation of the witnesses and the report give evidence of a co-responsibility of the police. This could have an impact on the defendants they represent. And their share of responsibility, due to faulty planning, would be put into perspective, according to the defenders.

Also at the political level will give consequences of the. The SPD in the NRW Landtag sees in its proposed law on events an approach to establish a “uniform, clear and coherent legal basis” for the planning, approval, implementation and follow-up of major events. There will be an expert hearing on the topic on Wednesday in the Interior Committee.

11th September 2018

Loveparade process: New report puts a strain on the police

11.09.2018 Source: WDR
Who is to blame for the death of 21 people at the Duisburg Love Parade? The longer the criminal prosecution lasts, the more the role of the police comes into view. The court-appointed expert in his opinion, the opinion: “A fatal decision of the police have caused the disaster at least.”

Report: Police chain complicit in Loveparade disaster

By Benjamin Sartory

Love Parade disaster: police chain of possible co-trigger

Reviewer sees numerous other causes

Disaster could have been prevented according to expert opinion

The police operation was from the perspective of the expert, Jürgen Gerlach, but possibly one of the causes of the Love Parade disaster. This emerges from his not yet public expertise, which could see the WDR. The more than 3,000 pages are preliminary and were sent to those involved in the process a few weeks ago.

Crowding led to heaps of people
Specifically, therefore, a police chain could have triggered the Duisburg Love Parade disaster. It was designed to hold back ever-increasing crowds on the combined entry and exit ramps. But the pressure on both sides of the police chain was apparently getting bigger.
When the police finally withdrew, people collided from two directions. Very close it came then according to the report to a dense crowd. Many saw a staircase as a way out, at the foot of which many of the 21 dead were found.
Love Parade disaster had many causes
However: The expert also says that the police would not have been under any obligation to act, if it had not already given planning errors in advance. Thus, especially the access system to the terrain was unsuitable.
You have misplaced technical barriers made of metal, and from the expert’s point of view they were not designed for so many people. Gerlach also mentions numerous other possible causes that would have triggered the accident probably in interaction.

Could bad luck be prevented?

Nevertheless, the explanations of the expert are astonishing. Because he contradicts a British expert, with whom the prosecutor’s office had argued in their indictment. The Englishman had seen the causes of the accident exclusively in the planning.

Gutachter Gerlach sees this differently. Because on the day of the Love Parade shortly before the disaster, there was probably still the possibility to prevent it.

No police officer charged
Accused in the Loveparade trial are a total of ten employees of the city of Duisburg and the organizer and no police. Survivors of the 21 fatalities had repeatedly criticized that. Meanwhile, possible allegations against police officers would be time-barred.

10th September 2018

Day 61: Communication chaos in the police

By Dominik Peters

Again the chief of police is loaded. Today, defense attorneys are allowed to ask questions and – of course – they dig deep, seeing the police responsible for the disaster.

It is well known that the police had massive communication problems on the day of the event. And that, although one has in the apron “with the topic radio and telephone already deeply concerned”, so the witness. The telecommunications provider Vodafone has assured the police a secure telephone network, “and I have let it go.” He adds: “I have to admit, we have been ill advised”.

Spontaneous plan change

Because the access routes in the West were quickly overloaded, it was discussed in a telephone conference, contrary to previous arrangements reinforced to steer over the east route, says the witness. A fatal decision? After all, it had been agreed in advance with all actors not to turn the visitors over the eastern route, but to divert them towards the city center.

One defense attorney notes that despite the spontaneous change in strategy, the police in the East have long not set up any curfews to control the flow of visitors. And that, even though pictures show how full it was already at 2.20 pm in the eastern area. The decision on the establishment of Vorsperren had lain with the respective section leaders, emphasizes the witness. “You can not make all decisions centrally.”

Calls go nowhere

Actually, the flow of information in the police is clearly regulated. Everyone has their own place in the telephone chain, provided the technology plays along and calls do not go awry. The witness emphasizes that he received little information from his colleagues during the disaster. Say: The staff leader did not know for a long time, what happens in the individual areas of responsibility of the police.

He did not want to hear about police chains and turning vehicles in the tunnels and on the ramp until about 5 pm. A defender bursts the collar. His voice grows loud, his head red: The police did not know what the left hand was doing.

The witness always remains calm and objective: “I am very aware of what happened and I am very aware of what role we have.” Often, however, he does not answer the questioners: In the aftermath of the catastrophe, he did not ask why did not reach him with important information on the day of the event. He did not want to unsettle his colleagues.

6th September 2018

Day 60: Prominent visit to the senior staff

The day begins with the public prosecutor’s office questioning the police chief of staff. This would like to know exactly who was on the police headquarters, what tasks and information the officials had. In his sober manner, the witness tells what he can remember, he says. With the help of a drawing, all members of the senior staff are enumerated. They are said to have crowded around a table, as you will see later in a photo.

Where was the leadership?

The work of the senior staff should have been taken by the then Interior Minister Ralf Jäger in view. The witness explains that the high attendance, which took place at a time when the situation in the tunnel must have been critical, would not have hindered the work. When asked, “Was one leaderless in time?” He replies in the negative. They had been in the leadership room with the minister and presented the situation to him. From the statements of another official but is quoted that the staff leader and the police leader were not approachable and it was received in the executive staff “like at the station”. The witness explains that all the police present were in frequent telephone contact with the officers who were on duty outside and therefore had a very “busy” time.

The information jam

Liaison officers from the public order office, the fire department and the federal police were sitting in the police headquarters, but none of the organizers. They were relied on to be well-placed with the liaison officers who cooperated with the organizers’ staff at the event itself, says the witness.

Then there were also the telephone conferences. Unfortunately, in my opinion, these prove only the ignorance of the senior management. He did not find out until 17 o’clock, after people had died, that police cords were confiscated in the tunnel – this information came from the fire department and not from their own people.

The unfavorable shift change

Another question, which is repeatedly raised, is about the shift change of the Hundertschaft, which was used in the ramp area. Due to rest and deployment time, which had to be respected, the change of officials began at 15 o’clock. On the one hand, this meant that vehicles drove through the tunnel, which was not planned. And secondly, at this critical juncture, where many visitors were expected, civil servants began to work who might not yet be able to get an overview of the situation. The witness assures that in the planning one nevertheless believed to be in a good position.

Today, the prosecution and the adjunct have completed their questioning. On Monday it is to be continued by the defense.

5th September 2018

Loveparade trial: Witness portrays police fiasco
By Martin Teigeler

Police chief again witnessed the Loveparade trial

Report on chaotic processes on the day of the disaster

Witness had his children on the Love Parade

Why could not thousands of policemen prevent the mass panic at the Duisburg Love Parade 2010 with 21 dead? On Wednesday (05.09.2018) had the Loveparade trial of the then police chief of the management staff information – as on the previous day.
Own children on the Love Parade
The 55-year-old admitted that he previously had little experience with major events. He described how he first dropped off his son at the event on July 24, 2010 – and then began his late shift in the police department. His daughter had been to the Love Parade.

The witness reported that leading police officers were in the meantime, the then Interior Minister Ralf Jäger (SPD) to receive at the Love Parade.
Who knew about police chains?
Already in the early afternoon there were first reports of increasing crowding. From police barriers in tunnels and on the ramp, which could have caused a tightening, he had known nothing, said the witness. The police section leader had these locks formulated in consultation with the head of his unit.
Asked by Chairman Judge Mario Plein why he was unaware of his role as chief of staff, the witness said, “I can not explain that.” This should have been reported to the staff actually. The judge also expressed incomprehension that the police did not have many surveillance cameras in view.
Allegations denied
The witness vehemently dismissed allegations from a report by an accused employee of the organizer company on July 25, 2010, according to which the police should have demanded the dismantling of the access barriers before the mass panic. “We did not ask for the separation plant to be dismantled – at no time,” said the police officer.
Even before the Love Parade, there had been controversy over the duty rosters at the police. Also the preparations with city and organizer described the witness as partially difficult. On Thursday (06.09.2018) the policeman is questioned again.

4th September 2018

Loveparade criminal case: policeman over days in the witness stand

DÜSSELDORF In the Loveparade trial in Duisburg district court on Tuesday, a police officer was first heard as a witness – the then head of the senior staff on the day of the event. July 24, 2010. The court has scheduled a total of five days for the interrogation, as many as for no witness before.

In the questioning by the presiding judge it was above all about how the police officer took on the roles of the ten defendants.

At the Loveparade 2010 in Duisburg, there was so much crowds at the only entrance and exit to the event grounds that 21 people were crushed and at least 652 injured. Accused are six employees of the city of Duisburg and four employees of the organizer Lopavent, among other things for negligent homicide.

The Loveparade was planned in the spring of 2010: How to deal with the many expected visitors in Duisburg? What to do in the case of crimes, in a storm, in the event of too much pressure on the event grounds? On the first day of the interrogation of the senior police officer it became clear once again that many weeks before the Love Parade almost all sorts of scenarios were considered and discussed at many meetings with organizer Lopavent, fire brigade and city authorities – not infrequently controversial.

The police chief of the police did not have much to do with the six city employees, but with the accused production manager Lopavent. This was the central contact for the police. He made a competent impression and always made security-related decisions, the witness said.

Afterwards, the court and the witness discussed all preparatory meetings in which the policeman had participated – police meetings and other actors. Individual police actions in connection with the catastrophic crowd did not come up on Tuesday.

Among the ten defendants is no policeman. The prosecution had indeed determined against a Duisburg police leader, but not accused him. He is to be heard on 26 and 27 September as a witness. An expert had found that police action was not the cause of the accident.

Interrogation is scheduled for five days
Loveparade trial: First time police officer in the witness stand

Dusseldorf – In the Loveparade criminal case since Tuesday for the first time a policeman is heard as a witness. The former police chief of staff will be questioned on the day of the event, 24 July 2010.

The court has scheduled a total of five trial days for the interrogation, as many as for no witness before him.

In the field office of Duisburg Regional Court at the Düsseldorf Exhibition Center, the 55-year-old high-ranking official first gave a rough overview of his activities in connection with the Loveparade. He reported that on the day of the event, he held the late shift as a staff leader along with a police chief.

At lunchtime he had previously dropped off his son and his acquaintances on the event space. In the questioning by the presiding judge Mario Plein then it was above all about how the witness had perceived the roles of the ten defendants.

Policeman wants to answer questions from family members

Individual police measures in connection with the fateful crowds that emerged in the late afternoon did not come up for the moment. At the beginning of his statement, the police officer expressed the desire to be able to answer questions from relatives and injured people with his testimony.

At the Loveparade on 24 July 2010 in Duisburg, there was so much crowding at the only entrance and exit to the event grounds that 21 people were crushed and at least 652 injured. Accused are six employees of the city of Duisburg and four employees of the organizer Lopavent, among other things for negligent homicide. – dpa / lnw

Love Parade disaster of 2010: For the first time a policeman says in court

(more at

Could the police have partially prevented the Love Parade disaster?
What role did the police play in the Love Parade disaster eight years ago? This question should be clarified in the mammoth process around the disaster. For the first time, a policeman now testifies as a witness – the then head of the executive staff will be interviewed for five days. So far no time has been set by the court for any interrogation.
Ten people are charged
It’s the 58th day in the Loveparade trial – the trial began in December 2017, seven and a half years after the disaster. Six employees of the city of Duisburg as well as four employees of Lopavent GmbH, which organized the Loveparade 2010, are accused. The allegations include, among other things, negligent homicide and negligent assault. Members of the police are not charged. Although a police leader has been identified in the meantime, one expert noted that the police had failed to take any action that could have led to a different outcome of the incident.
How much the many victims and relatives of those killed are still suffering from the catastrophe, you see in the video.

(more at

28th August 2018

Love parade disaster: The struggle for enlightenment continues
Annika Fischer

In the Loveparade process, the participants have been fighting for nine months for clarification. As of next week, the Criminal Court hears the first police officers.
How many expressions does the German language have for the simple sentence “I do not know”? In the criminal proceedings for the Love Parade of Duisburg you could have counted them in the first nine months, at least collect. Since the planning of the Technofest with 21 dead in front of the 6th Grand Criminal Court, the memory of the witnesses has dropped considerably. Co-plaintiffs, who had hoped for answers after eight years, are disappointed.

“I do not remember that,” they finally heard from the representatives of politics and administration. “I can only guess that”, “no memory”, “that does not mean anything to me”. Or, “I was not informed,” “I was not involved,” “I have no knowledge of that.” , , As painful as it was on some of the trial days at the beginning of the year were the memories of the people who survived the crush, they are so thin with those who at least had a share in the preparation of the Love Parade. Some do not even remember mails or memos that he himself wrote or drew. It is as if witnesses want to protect themselves, even though they are not charged – and the danger no longer exists.

Relatives “without expectations”

For the relatives in the ranks of the co-plaintiffs, this is difficult to bear: “What is this for a mayor who knows nothing?”, Asks the Spaniard Paco Zapater, father of Clara, who died in the crush, according to the statement of the then Mayor Adolf Sauerland. Gabi Müller, mother of Christian, is one of the few who still participates in often long, tough negotiation days – but “always without expectations”. She says: “I want answers!” And feels meanwhile similar to Manfred Reißaus, father of the dead Svenja from Castrop-Rauxel: “That brings nothing.”

Nevertheless, the trial of ten defendants from the ranks of city and organizer is progressing well. The witness list of city and fire brigade is largely finished. The court, says spokesman Matthias Breidenstein, “could sometimes even accelerate the set schedule”. All the parties to the proceedings, including the defense lawyers, were involved. Previously it had been feared that they could prolong the process by petitions. “The effort to clarify the facts,” says Breidenstein, “is clearly noticeable on all sides.”

Report with 1500 pages

At the moment, the participants sit in a two-week break over the second part of the new report by Prof. Jürgen Gerlach. The Wuppertal expert for the security of large events presented another 1500 pages this month, which deal with the causes of the “human concentration” and the actual event day. Often, witnesses in this regard had accused the police of not helping in the mess.

Next week, the Düsseldorf Congress Center, which serves as a courtroom for € 29,000 a day, will close a circle. Many process observers had pointed to ex-mayor Sauerland, who pointed to his Ordnungsdezernenten Wolfgang Rabe, then showed the fire department on the police. And now, after nine months and 57 days of trial, the first policeman arrives. On September 4, the official will testify, who was then head of the senior staff.

For his statement, the presiding judge Mario Plein has scheduled five days – more than any other witness so far. The 56-year-old, who was never investigated, is alleged to have made mistakes in previous interrogations as the only high-ranking police officer. Many information, he should have said, would not have reached him. Which is again a formulation for “I do not know”.


15th August 2018

Love Parade Process: Blame are always only the others

By Peter Kurz

The process of criminal recovery of the disaster in July 2010 has been running for 56 negotiating days. An interim balance.

Dusseldorf. If the original plan, according to which the Loveparade disaster litigation lasts a total of 111 negotiation days, then the second half has just begun. On Wednesday, the 56th day of the trial, was the head of the Duisburg fire department heard for hours. The 42-year-old was involved in the planning of the big event in the summer of 2010. For him, however, it was primarily fire protection issues that were relevant, he says. In working groups with employees of Stadt and the organizer, he was confronted again and again with the planning of the event. But because that was not his responsibility, the man in the uniform is always reluctant to judge who has ordered what. Motto: not my construction site.

Witnesses who shirk the responsibility

This motto runs through the whole process so far. Apparently only the others were responsible. The question of who was responsible for what in the preparation of the big event, not necessarily limited to the ten defendants. In the proceedings, several witnesses have already said that many a process observer asked himself: Is this really just a witness or is not he also responsible?

Just such witnesses should be in the spirit of the great defensive wars and later incorporated in their pleadings. They will argue: There were many other people in charge – why should our clients alone hold their heads?

But the prominent witnesses all speak out in their own way. There is the former Lord Mayor of Duisburg, Adolf Sauerland, who wordily stated at the beginning of May that he was not involved in the approval process. Since he is not charged, the court can not harm him. The question of the presiding judge Mario Plein, who takes the perspective of “Klein Erna” during the interrogation of Sauerland, also sounds powerless. And expressing his lack of understanding – from the point of view of just this little Erna it was strange that a mayor does not contribute to such a major event. After all, it was not about planning for a flea market.

Just like the witnesses Sauerland, the court can (in the absence of indictment) bring another heavyweight in distress, which takes place at the end of May in the witness box. Also Rainer Schaller, head of the Loveparade organizer Lopavent, had with quite the same reasoning as the Lord Mayor already an indictment against fend off. Although he takes on the witness stand, the “moral responsibility” because the disaster happened at his event. But he, according to Schaller in court, did not even care about the safety-relevant planning details. That would have done his employees. These four men are sitting a few meters further down the dock.

Page 2: Love Parade Process: Only the others are guilty
Also not accused, but only loaded as a witness is the beginning of August, the former Duisburg Ordnungsdezernent Wolfgang Rabe. Although he had been appointed by the Lord Mayor as a project coordinator for the Love Parade. And as such always present supporters of the event. Administratively was responsible for the fenced area not the regulatory, but the building department. The area of ​​the Duisburg administration, from which come the defendants.

Should the mission to the panic researcher calm him down?
A much discussed issue in the process is also the commitment of the renowned panic researcher Michael Schreckenberg, whom Rabe hired for a fee of 20,000 euros in order to contribute his expertise to the planning. How far this was active, is not very clear. In Schreckenberg’s own testimony at the beginning of August, but also in Rabe’s interrogation, another version of the motive for the commission comes up: that Schreckenberg’s commitment was to calm down the popular professor. Because of its frequent media presence, it appeared that there was a risk that he would comment negatively on the feasibility of the event in Duisburg and endanger the desired major event in this way.

All this must be cynical on the victims and their survivors. Cynical also against the background of what surviving witnesses in the court in the beginning of the year in oppressive words had told. As they were lost in control of the waves of the crowd, squashed, how the air stayed away, they fought for their lives. How they heard cries for help and then heard that others beside them could not do it anymore.

KurzLoveparade: Duisburg Fire Chief criticized the police

Once again a witness in the Loveparade trial sees the blame for the drama on the police. The current fire chief Oliver Tittmann had said it the same morning after the techno party: The police lock in the tunnel had been fatal. The fire brigade did not know about it until after the catastrophe, because cameras had failed. It should not have come to the deadly traffic jam.

Not all conversations are still remembered by the fire inspector of the Loveparade: “I have processed this day properly in recent years and have also supplanted it.” One sentence repeated Tittmann, who appears in uniform in court, repeated several times in the witness stand: ” From my point of view, all questions were clarified in advance. “The fire department had clearly stated that it was only to stop the flow of people through barriers in front of the tunnel and at the top of the ramp.

There should have been no stoppage in the tunnel

But also in the control of the entrances, for the planning of which the organizer Lopavent had been responsible, were made wrong decisions, when the situation on that 24. July escalated. The pressure had also grown because the grounds had been opened too late. “Among other things, I suggested removing the fences and releasing the A 59 for the people,” says Tittmann. He repeated that on the day of the disaster.

For him, the responsibility of the city and thus also of the fire brigade for safety had ceased at the entrances to the tunnel: “Lopavent was responsible for the area behind it.” Only in an emergency did the city secure the organizer in advance to support it. In a letter that Tittmann formulated the night after the disaster, he dismisses the responsibility of the fire department for the disaster with 21 dead and several hundred injured: “The responsibility lay with the state police and Lopavent.” The fire department itself could and should Do not worry about the fact that there should be no standstill in the tunnel.

Many possible scenarios were discussed in advance

Tittmann also confirms that the pressure that the Technoparade must definitely take place had come from Wolfgang Rabe, at that time Ordnungsdezernent. Asked by the judge whether Rabes’ direct statement surprised him, Tittmann says: “We know him from everyday life.”

All participants had discussed many possible scenarios. “One was heavy rain. We assumed that visitors would then pour into the tunnel to shelter themselves, “says Oliver Tittmann. In this case, the plan was to block access to prevent the tunnel from filling up and to inform the visitors via loudspeakers. However, the actual scenario has not been discussed, says the fire chief: “That should not have happened.”

Dead collection points and body bags were still available. “We were prepared for 50 dead,” says Oliver Tittmann actually. This is a common practice at such major events: “However, we have rather expected drug deaths.”


On Tuesday, the former Dortmunder fire chief had testified in the process. The 63-year-old wants to have warned in a seminar on major events before the Love Parade before planning errors.

It was rudimentary in March 2010. Critical points have not been improved because of the “bad money”.

8th August 2018

Rabe in the Loveparade trial: “I did not want to point my finger at the police”

Mistakes by police have allegedly led to mass panic at the Love Parade. This reproach expressed the former Duisburg Ordnungsdezernent Rabe.

Shortly after the accident, it was clear to the fire chief of the Duisburg fire brigade what fateful circumstances presumably led to the mass panic at the Duisburg Love Parade: the police chains, errors in the isolation systems and the fact that police vehicles stood where they did not belong, namely on the accident ramp. That said the former Duisburg Ordnungsdezernent Wolfgang Rabe on the second day of his interrogation in the Loveparade criminal case.

Sunday morning at 6 clock, 12 hours after the accident, today’s fire chief Oliver Tittmann said this in the conversation with Sauerland and Raven in his office. Rabe has publicly expressed this accusation now for the first time: “I did not want to point my finger at the police and intervene in the investigation.” So far, there had been no blame on the part of the city of Duisburg, which is responsible for the disaster with 21 dead and several hundred injured.

Already in the run-up to the trial, the role of the police on the day of the disaster was in the public discussion. But ultimately no representative of the police was indicted in this criminal case. A circumstance that had already been criticized at the beginning of the mammoth process, including by the defenders of the ten defendants.

Again and again the name Schreckenberg falls

After the first day of his interrogation, the planning in the run-up to the Love Parade were in focus, Rabe should now once again outline the events on the day of the disaster itself. He himself had headed the crisis team that city had installed for the big event that day. A perfectly normal procedure, explains Rabe, also to put the “functioning of the state apparatus” and the cooperation of the authorities in such a large-scale situation to the test.

Shortly after 17 o’clock then the first emergency call was received, that there is a death in the Loveparade. At this time, Rabe himself was briefly on the site to make himself a picture of the Love Parade. After receiving the message from a city spokesman, Rabe headed directly to the fire station in Duissern where Crisis Staff and Fire Brigade crew met. A firefighter got him there with blue light, the 64-year-old remembers.

Only a short time later, the numbers of the dead and injured increased. The crisis staff turned on district government and Interior Ministry. Everything that was decided there is recorded in a diary and read out point by point. Also, that in the course of the evening Prime Minister Hannelore Kraft and Interior Minister Ralf Jäger visited the crisis team and could be informed.

Also on this day of the negotiations the name Schreckenberg came into play again and again. Too many unanswered questions were still in prosecution and co-plaintiffs, as regards the award of the contract to the physics professor. Schreckenberg had to check the event planning for the city, “Professor Schreckenberg has told us in his statement but something else,” said Judge Mario Plein to the statement of the traffic jam a week earlier. He wants to have commented on individual aspects only by acclamation. He should not have dealt with the venue itself. That contradicts Rabe. For him it was clear that Schreckenberg consider the entire venue.

Why the police found no sent emails on Rabes service computer

And another question occupied the court: Why did not find the police on the service computer by Wolfgang Rabe actually no e-mails to the Love Parade? Were they deleted, for example, to cover up something, as a specialist in the Cologne police suspected? Knowingly, at least this did not happen, says Rabe and provides an insight into his work, which he cultivated for decades – whether as a district director in Wesel or even as a deputy in the Duisburg town hall.

He had his electronic mail answered by either his anteroom or his personal speaker. On his service computer he had, if anything, used the word processor. For correspondence, he always used the writing computer or dictation machine. Computer, that was not quite his world, could be heard from it. Even today, where his “better half” sent for him. He was a “fossil” in this matter.

Loveparade criminal trial: Former lawyer Wolfgang Rabe testified as a witness

The coordinator came together to
clear obstacles 

By Petra Grünendahl

“At first I was skeptical. But when the people got to know each other from Lopavent, I realized: ‘They can do that’, “Wolfgang Rabe said. Afterwards he had been anxious to do everything that the Loveparade could take place 2010 in Duisburg. That he would have canceled the event, if it had not given clean-away security concerns, you can not quite take it off. Too much of the Assistant to Security and Law was apparently trying to clear obstacles out of the way: Not the Ordnungsamtsleiter Hans-Peter Bölling, a Loveparade critic, he entrusted with the plans. Instead, he chose Bolling’s deputy Ursula Fohrmann as the person responsible for the planning, from which he expected less headwinds. In particular, after the change of responsibilities to the Building Regulations Office in the spring of 2010, there had been resistance, The local staff saw the event rather critical. In the end, they had granted a permit one day before the event.

Duisburg’s former Chief Justice Wolfgang Rabe was invited as a witness. Ex-Lord Mayor Adolf Sauerland had Rabe used as a coordinator for the planning and approval of the Loveparade 2010, as the responsibility for the procedure had initially located with the public order. Rabe had remained the coordinating contact for all those involved after the responsibilities had changed in the spring of 2010 to the Building Regulations Office (Building Department). With the change of responsibilities for approval of the change of use of the event site, the security office on the in and out of the event grounds remained with the public order office. Also against Wolfgang Rabe had been determined after the disaster of 24 July 2010, the investigation then been discontinued. Before the 6th

Politically wanted in the Capital of Culture year

After the presiding judge Mario Plein had the former lawyer’s department initially told, he hooked as usual with questions. Finally, he gave him chronological statements and documents to put Rabes’ statements in context with other statements and events. Many things the former alderman does not want to remember. That’s handy, do not give it up to taking responsibility. Wolfgang Rabe seemed rather uninvolved in the negotiations, although the threads of planning and approval went together with him. He regrets the catastrophe with dead and injured people, said Rabe. It sounded rather … casual.

There was political pressure, confirmed Rabe. But only indirectly: “In a WDR interview, the Prime Minister [Jürgen Rüttgers] had stressed that the Love Parade must necessarily take place.” However, such statements were never brought directly to him or others responsible. But: The Love Parade in Duisburg had been a beacon project of the Capital of Culture year RUHR.2010. And even if there is no direct pressure on Rabe: With his statement that the OB was hoping for this event, the right-wing head of department had embraced this political pressure.

The owners of Aurelis, a real estate subsidiary of Deutsche Bahn, was also interested in the Loveparade being held on its premises. “That gave them the opportunity to remove the wild growth,” said Rabe. Or, to put it this way: they were able to liberate the old freight yard, which had been fallow for many years, from unwanted growth and put it up for sale. With this and with the pictures of a successful event, the area could finally be better marketed.

Responsibilities for areas, entrances and detours

As an “event site” in the sense of approval Wolfgang Rabe looked up the Karl-Lehr-Straße with the ramp up to the actual event area. “With the separation facilities [on the Düsseldorfer Straße and Kommandantenstraße] the public space ended,” says Rabe. He or the Public Order Office were on the day of the event only for the safety on the in and out of the area – so up to the separation facilities – responsible. According to this, the Karl-Lehr-Straße with the underpass and the ramp as access to the freight yard area would have been the responsibility of the organizer and would have been part of the approval of the Building Authority. So of course you can shove responsibilities back and forth!


7th August 2018

Wolfgang Rabe: From Loveparade skeptics to potential makers

As security officer, Wolfgang Rabe coordinated the Duisburg Love Parade. In the process, he now gives insight into the planning of the city.

From Loveparade skeptics to potential makers. Thus one can describe the change, which the former Duisburger order department Wolfgang Rabe has gone through and which he sketched in his statement in the Loveparade process. In contrast to Rainer Schaller, who only wants to have been patrons of the Love Parade, and former mayor Adolf Sauerland, who wants to leave the plans to his experts, there is now a man in the witness stand, in which all threads came together as the overall coordinator of the city.

Raven regrets events in the Love Parade

At the beginning of the planning, Rabe, who is now 64 years old and works as a lecturer and lawyer, was cautious about the “whole thing”. Finally, the Love Parade was “not quite his age” and also “difficult to carry out” had been.

But over time and getting to know the planners at Lopavent, he revised his opinion. From then on it was clear to him that the event in Duisburg was feasible. Even though, with today’s knowledge, he greatly regretted the events of July 24, 2010: “If I had known that it would cause such a cataclysm, I would never have done it.”

But as a municipal servant, he would also have to make sure “things get started” if there are no security concerns. His approach to the Love Parade therefore was this: “We try to do that when we can, and as an administration, you can have concerns all day and prevent things like that.” The alderman, however, did not see any serious problems – which would have led to his refusal. His credo: “Away from the Prussian administrative trade to a constructive dialogue.”

That there were misgivings in the public order office, in the building office and in the police, Wolfgang Rabe saw that well. He himself wants to have demanded that the tunnel should “by no means come to a standstill”. Although he had been exposed to direct pressure, but he has already felt the political will to perform the Love Parade as a beacon project of the Capital of Culture year. “The Prime Minister and the OB wanted that.”

Rabe casually talks about the plans for the Love Parade

The way Wolfgang Rabe tells all this, some process observers and also a co-plaintiff find more than inappropriate. Salopp, sometimes even a little brash drudging lawyer Rabe therefore. Told by Loveparade visitors “who tend to appear in flip-flops,” the MSV arena where “Thank God MSV is back in the second league,” or the rundown event site, “Once there are three Lurches running around , you do not do anything with it anymore. “And only a few times Rabe gets the word” love parade “over his lips. Otherwise he speaks only of the “thing”, the “story” or the “event”.

In order to get backing, the Ordnungsdezernent finally obliged the physicist Michael Schreckenberg, who should check whether the Love Parade was so feasible. Schreckenberg should investigate existing plans, correct them if necessary and if necessary pull the ripcord.

By the way, Schreckenberg had come because he teaches at the University of Duisburg and because the evacuation expert had criticized safety in the stadiums in the run-up to the 2006 FIFA World Cup. Such a negative report wanted to prevent the city of Duisburg in the run-up to the Love Parade, so you tied the scientist early. “But not to get a courtesy certificate,” Rabe emphasized once again. Schreckenberg eventually received 20,000 euros for his work. The question of whether there was a written order, Raven said in the negative: “Just a check.”

Even though the Love Parade was sometimes viewed critically in the offices involved, there was a tendency to “do it.” And so Rabes team first looked for a suitable venue in the city. The inner harbor, the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Straße and the forecourt of the MSV-Arena were eliminated quickly.

In the worst case, OB Sauerland would have had to sign

After an overflight with the police helicopter over possible event locations finally the old goods yard came into play. And the responsibility for the event area and thus the approval of the Loveparade moved to the building department. There, the Lopavent application was examined very carefully. Which obviously worried the planners. The pressure increased, the mails between Lopavent, their Berlin lawyer and the contacts at the city of Duisburg were rougher.

So there were several times the request, but to speed up the processing of the building application. But here the influence possibilities of the Loveparade coordinator, who saw himself rather as “contact person” in the city administration and not as an approver, disappeared. In one administration, it is Usus, not in the areas of responsibility of the other department heads intoxicated, so Rabe. With Dressler, Rabe says, he could not have achieved anything with pressure.

Nevertheless, a plan B had been settled well: in the last emergency, the Lord Mayor himself would have had to sign the permit. Then he would have gone to Adolf Sauerland and told him: “Sign it.” That did not happen in the end. On July 23, the day before the Love Parade, Lopavent received the release.

Raven in the Loveparade process: “Could have blown everything off”

Wolfgang Rabe sat in the witness stand on Tuesday. Second-party prosecutors would have preferred to see the former Ordnungsdezernenten as a defendant.

Eight years since the Love Parade, eight months of negotiation, his name was in the room. Wolfgang Rabe. At that time, the order secretary of the city of Duisburg and the man to whom other witnesses had previously pointed with his finger: He was the man who had wanted and promoted the Technofest. On Tuesday he was there, as a witness in the process in Dusseldorf. In fact, he says frankly, this was his mission: “If there are no security concerns, I have to make sure I get it going.”

That the concerns were in the regulatory office, the building department, the police, that saw Wolfgang Rabe well. He himself wants to have demanded that the tunnel should “by no means come to a standstill”. Alone, “I’ve always tried to clear things up”. Talked to his headmaster, tried to get his colleagues from the Building Department on course (“We try to do that, not to prevent it”). Ordered a transport survey for 20 000 euros, emphasizing the desire of the policy that wanted the event, warned of a “hanging game”, as the approval a day before did not exist. Sometimes, says the 64-year-old, he was “not unenergic.” Even openly, in the case of a short-term veto from the Building Department, he would have said to the Lord Mayor: “Sign it!”

Raven can not remember too well

He has said so far: would have become clear, “that is not so, we could have blown off the whole story. Then we would not have done that. “

Although he, Rabe, was no longer responsible for the fenced area, he felt that way: as a “coordinator by law”. He would rather have the phrase “contact person – but not for the approval!” Remember, however, this witness can not be too good.

Another one. The apologizes and asks for understanding, all so long ago … Gabi Müller, mother of Christian († 25), who died in the hustle and bustle of the techno party, had expected nothing else, “I always come without expectations”. For them anyway sit “too few” in the dock, “and that is also one of the cadets.” As against the then Lord Mayor Adolf Sauerland had been determined against his Ordnungsdezernenten. The case is closed.

“How he grins and smiles” wonder victims of the victims

Raven could therefore speak up freed, and in fact he gives this appearance. “How he grins and smiles,” not only surprised Manfred Reißaus, father of the dead Svenja from Castrop-Rauxel. “More than inappropriate” he finds the style in which Wolfgang Rabe chatters relaxed, “briskly”, say other observers, at least “casual”. About the visitors of the Love Parade, the witness says that they “tend to appear in flip-flops,” about the Duisburg football stadium, that there “thank god MSV plays again in the second division”, about the neglected venue: “Once there running around three lurches, you do not do anything with it. “

He looks as if he’s not laying too much weight on his suit shoulders. It’s five past twelve and the trial day is two and a half hours old when the witness puts a clause in brackets: “A terrible event, I regret that to the utmost.” This time he says “event”, sometimes he says “misfortune”, often ” the history”.

Also because of the “history”, the city council has voted out the deputy four years ago, but still speaks in the present. “My public order office, my pedestrian zone, my fire chief …” and “my staff”. To whom he leaves much of the responsibility, today and even then.

Co-plaintiff Manfred Reißaus leaves the room shaking his head. “I’ve been here 25 times now. But that does not help. “

Ex-Ordnungsdezernent: Loveparade was politically wanted

Dusseldorf (dpa / lnw) – The implementation of the Loveparade 2010 was politically wanted, according to the former Ordnungsdezernenten the city of Duisburg. So he was in his talks with a senior official of the then state government in Dusseldorf “openly received,” said the former election officials of the city on Tuesday as a witness in the Loveparade process in Dusseldorf.

In it, the Love Parade disaster in 2010 with 21 fatalities and at least 652 wounded worked. The 64-year-old was the coordinator for the Techno Parade in the city of Duisburg. He regrets the Loveparade disaster “to the highest degree,” he said.

The 64-year-old lawyer testified that he was initially skeptical about the techno event. Then he met representatives of the organizer Lopavent and got the impression that “they can do that”. He had insisted within the administration that the Love Parade would not be prevented.

Six employees of the city and four employees of the Loveparade organizer sit at the dock. The prosecution accuses them, among other things, negligent homicide due to errors in the approval and planning of the major event.

For the approval of the former Ordnungsdezernent was not responsible, but representatives of the building code. All the accused city employees come from the building office.

Love Parade Process: Statement by ex-order chief raven

The implementation of the Love Parade was politically intended. This has the former Duisburg Ordnungsdezernent Wolfgang Rabe testified today in court. Rabe was the coordinator of the Techno Parade in the city administration. At first he was skeptical – but then he got to know representatives of the organizer and got the impression “that they can do that,” says Rabe in his testimony. Therefore, he had also insisted that the Love Parade is not prevented.

Ex-Ordnungsdezernent: Loveparade was politically wanted

Dusseldorf (dpa / lnw) – The implementation of the Loveparade 2010 was politically wanted, according to the former Ordnungsdezernenten the city of Duisburg. So he was in his talks with a senior official of the then state government in Dusseldorf “openly received,” said the former election officials of the city on Tuesday as a witness in the Loveparade process in Dusseldorf.

In it, the Love Parade disaster in 2010 with 21 fatalities and at least 652 wounded worked. The 64-year-old was the coordinator for the Techno Parade in the city of Duisburg. He regrets the Loveparade disaster “to the highest degree,” he said.

The 64-year-old lawyer testified that he was initially skeptical about the techno event. Then he met representatives of the organizer Lopavent and got the impression that “they can do that”. He had insisted within the administration that the Love Parade would not be prevented.

Six employees of the city and four employees of the Loveparade organizer sit at the dock. The prosecution accuses them, among other things, negligent homicide due to errors in the approval and planning of the major event.

For the approval of the former Ordnungsdezernent was not responsible, but representatives of the building code. All the accused city employees come from the building office.

1st August 2018

Stauforscher Schreckenberg under pressure in the Loveparade trial

By Benjamin Sartory

  • Schreckenberg advised at Loveparade
  • 20,000 euros fee despite limited order
  • Dimension of the contract in dispute

The traffic jam researcher Michael Schreckenberg has come under pressure as a witness in the Loveparade trial for two days (01./02.08.2018). He advised the city of Duisburg on the planning of the 2010 Technoparty. The physicist is considered an expert in the calculation of human flows even at major events. What was his job

What was his job?

Michael Schreckenberg has received 20,000 euros from the city, but according to his own statement, his order was only very limited. “On request” he had to comment on individual aspects. For example, he warned about the access tunnels. But in the individual working groups for planning, he then no longer sat. For the overall assessment of the security concept he had not had the order anyway.

Judge was indignant

“That was not my job,” repeated Schreckenberg so often that the presiding judge was a little indignant. Correspondingly, he reminded the researcher that he also took his breakfast in the morning, without having previously received an order.

Obviously, there were different views on the dimension of his consulting job. The defender of a defendant showed the professor an e-mail in which the police asked him for an overall assessment before the Love Parade, for example. He could not afford such a thing, he now contradicted in court.

Methodology developed by him used

It is clear, after all, that Schreckenberg should check the so-called escape analysis for the Loveparade site before the Technoparty. But according to his statement only on their methodology, not content. And this methodology is plausible, because it is recognized worldwide. By the way, Schreckenberg himself developed it. The analysis to be examined was written by a former student of his, who had meanwhile founded his own company.

Dubios appears the note of a conversation between the city and the organizer from before the Love Parade. A Duisburg departmental head should therefore have recommended to integrate the press affine Schreckenberg in the planning. Otherwise, there is the danger that the man would open his own face in public.

20,000 euros received only after disaster

In his testimony Schreckenberg seemed a little struck in the meantime. Afterwards he feels as if only his good name should be used at that time, he said. He regrets today that he did not warn more about dangers. The crossed check on his fee of 20,000 euros was only after the Duisburg Love Parade disaster with 21 dead in his mailbox.

Stauforscher says in the Loveparade process in Dusseldorf

  • Traffic jam researcher Michael Schreckenberg says in the Loveparade trial
  • He only worked as a consultant for the city
  • Organizer declined cooperation

Stau researcher Michael Schreckenberg said on Wednesday (01.08.2018) for the first time as a witness in the Loveparade process. He had advised the persons responsible in Duisburg for the planning of the techno party more than eight years ago and received 20,000 euros for this.

Safety concept not rated

He had been asked only on request for comments, said Schreckenberg. Accordingly, his assessments were mainly about the inlets and outlets between the main train station and the entrance to the Loveparadegrounds. He did not rate the entire security concept of the event, said Schreckenberg.

Organizer wanted to plan alone

In addition, Schreckenberg claims to have only advised the city. He did not work with the organizer. Lopavent wanted to take over the planning alone and also demanded that all information be confidential. Information about the expected number of visitors to the Techno parade, for example, did not exist.

Richter recommends legal assistance

The survey also included important e-mails . However, Schreckenberg could not remember a few, which caused some annoyance in the defense. The chairman Judge Plein then made the witness the suggestion to take for the further questioning a lawyer as a witness.

Expert: Loveparade organizer wanted to plan alone

Dusseldorf – In the run-up to the fatal Duisburg Love Parade with 21 fatalities, congestion and mass researcher Michael Schreckenberg has indeed advised the city of Duisburg. But not the organizer.

The festival organizer Lopavent did not want to work with him, said the professor of the University of Duisburg-Essen on Wednesday in the Loveparade process in Dusseldorf. “I only had contact with the city,” Schreckenberg said.

Lopavent wanted to take over the planning alone and also demanded that all information be confidential. There was no information about the expected number of visitors to the Technoparade.

In the Love Parade disaster in July 2010, 21 young people died in a crush, at least 652 were injured. Accused are six employees of the city of Duisburg and four Lopavent employees.

The prosecution accuses them, among other things, negligent homicide due to errors in the approval and planning of the major event. The procedure of the regional court Duisburg takes place place reasons in Duesseldorf. dpa


24th July 2018

Love Parade catastrophe: Eight years later

By Martin Teigeler


We are noting there have been several witnesses between the 26th June and 5th July 2018. At percent we are finding in difficult to find news articles in relation to these court dates……we will keep trying.


26th June 2018

Love Parade Process: Ex-Amtsleiter reports “anger”

  • Ex- Ordnungsleiter has testified in the Loveparade process
  • Officials want to have been against techno parade early
  • Warnings in conversations and documents

The Duisburg ex- Ordnungsamtleiter has reported on early warnings before the Love Parade 2010. He was from the outset against the techno parade in the city, said the today 68-year-old pensioner on Tuesday (26.06.2018) as a witness in the criminal case before the Duisburg district court. For reasons of space, the main hearing will take place at Messe Düsseldorf.

” Vomit, urine and garbage “

The witness reported “anger” and “anger” because he could not prevail with his concerns against the Love Parade. “I had the pictures of the Love Parade in Tiergarten in Berlin in mind,” said the official, who had led the public office from 2000 to 2014. “Vomit, urine and garbage” he did not want to have in Duisburg.

Criticism of pressure of the media

His position had been because of the expected mass of visitors: “The event can not take place on public streets and squares in Duisburg.” After the cancellation of the 2009 parade in Bochum, however, the pressure had increased – for example, through the media – to carry out the event in the Ruhr Capital of Culture 2010.

The witness said in court that he has repeatedly raised concerns in letters, conversations and endorsements within the administration. The competent department had problems but “not transported up” . For the then selected area on the former freight yard was not the regulatory office, but the building authority was responsible – because it was a fenced area.

Testimony finished

The ex-Amtsleiter was in the meantime even accused, but was not charged. He stood until Wednesday afternoon (27.06.2018) in the witness box answer and answer.

At the Loveparade in July 2010, 21 people were killed in a mass panic. Hundreds were injured. Since the end of 2017, a total of ten employees of the city and the organizer company are on trial for, among other things, negligent homicide.

An early critic doubted safe execution of the event in Duisburg
By Petra Grünendahl

“We have looked at some routes in public space, pros and cons put together – and have come to the conclusion: On public roads and paths this love parade in Duisburg should not take place,” said Hans-Peter Bölling, then head of the Public Order , At the end of 2006, at the beginning of 2007, he had been confronted for the first time with the idea of ​​a Love Parade in Duisburg. And he had first advised against naming a concrete venue in the framework agreement that Lopavent 2007 concluded with five municipalities in the Ruhr area. “The should be set by the city of Duisburg later,” said Bölling. After the real estate fair MIPIM in Cannes in the spring of 2009, the site of the old freight yard was discussed as an event venue. Again, he has seen massive security problems. He had gone out with his deputy and looked at the site and came to the conclusion: not here!

In the Loveparade criminal trial, the then head of the public order office, Hans-Peter Bölling, was invited as a witness. Four employees of Lopavent and ten employees of the City of Duisburg are accused of harming the deaths of 21 people by their behavior due to negligence, as well as by way of example an additional 18 people who act as co-plaintiffs. Bölling, who retired in October 2014, had been an early critic of the planned event in Duisburg and had positioned himself accordingly: not only as long as the Public Order Department was responsible for the event planning, but also afterwards. With the agreement on a closed private area at the old freight yard, responsibility for the approval procedure had passed to the Building Authority (March 2010). The municipal employees at the dock all come from the ranks of the Building Authority or the head of the department.

First, after the Loveparade disaster was also determined against Bölling, the investigation was discontinued very soon. The former clerk could give some insights into early planning that he had still attended, as well as later, as far as he was informed.

There were warnings!

As with earlier witness hearings, presiding judge Mario Plein first had Hans-Peter Bölling tell him before he asked in chronological order, referring to investigation files and evidence. Bölling ordered (own) letters and notes for discussions or facts, but also statements and letters from other persons involved in the context of the approval process. From the end of 2006 he was part of it, later – after the responsibility had been transferred to the Building Authority – results were still given to him. He was more likely to scan them for points that affected his area of ​​responsibility: the safety of people in public places. And he saw it long endangered, as the event area only the areas north of the freight yard halls were in conversation: The site would have been much too small even for the expected real visitors and would have to be closed in case of overcrowding. With the result that thousands of visitors would have to stay in front of the public access.

After the responsibility for the approval procedure had been changed to the Building Department (Building Department), employees of the Office visited a seminar on the subject of major events. Also Bolling’s deputy and another employee from the public order office (Ordnungsdezernat) had been there. These had reported to him afterwards, so Bölling that the speaker of the seminar had warned expressly before the Love Parade. There have also been warnings from other sources. In a first phase of the event, the Love Parade with 20 floats was to be held from 2 pm on a 1.3-kilometer circular route around the freight yard halls, before the closing rally from 5 pm north of the halls was to take place. Bölling expected problems especially for the “change of shift” between the actual parade and the closing rally, when visitors leaving the area had to meet more newcomers. For this purpose, the ramp was the only entrance and exit south of the freight yard halls available, where it comes between 16 and 17 clock to the disaster.

We wanted to firmly reject the event!

After the cancellation of Bochum Duisburg have been under pressure, especially in the Capital of Culture Ruhr2010: Even the media had announced that the Ruhr area could not afford a second disgrace (like Bochum). That had also fallen on fertile ground in Duisburg. Ordnungsdezernent Wolfgang Rabe, who was responsible for the approval process of the Love Parade in Duisburg, had told him that “you can not afford a rejection,” said Bölling literally.

Lopavent had expected a generous interpretation of the regulations from the city of Duisburg, a police officer involved in the planning proceedings had given his record during his interrogation. They even threatened to break off the talks, the official said. “Politicians were more willing to risk than the administration,” quoted judge Plein further from the hearing of police officer K. Plein tried to draw with Bölling a demarcation of policy to the administration, which is not entirely unproblematic: The Lord Mayor is not just a elected politician but also head of administration. And the associates are temporary political officials elected by the Council. Plein asked Bölling if she could have referred to the police officer’s comment on the departmental head, who was responsible for the planning: “I do not think that Rabe would take a great risk for the event and assume responsibility for it,” said Bölling.

Already the witness Adolf Sauerland had confronted the judge with the statement of Hans-Peter Böllings, he had given him in a letter three “ripcords” in the hand, which should allow the mayor to cancel the Love Parade with well founded grounds and without loss of face for the city to be able to. And since Bölling had to follow the official path, he could not direct the letter to the Lord Mayor, but had to go over his superior (Wolfgang Rabe). Bölling can understand that the letter did not arrive at Sauerland: “(Chief of Staff) Rabe was not the type who would have sustained problems to higher authorities.” Thus, Rabe had probably apologized later, according to Bölling, that he did not do the risk analysis in the administrative board (mayor and deputy)

The witness did not remember details of this January 2010 letter. Finance would certainly have been one of the points: The highly indebted city should have spent no money for the Love Parade. A sum of more than 800,000 euros stood in the room, which would have had to be financed differently (not through the municipal budget). The second point might well have been the Powerpoint presentation, a risk analysis of possible event areas, which Bölling had addressed earlier in his remarks. There, the results of a joint conference of the Public Order, Police, Federal Police, Fire and Rescue Services were presented – with the security issues of possible venues. The then police chief Rolf Cebin had referred to these results, as he made public at the time that there was no safe place in Duisburg for the event of the Love Parade. This statement had led to Cebin being retired by NRW Interior Minister Ingo Wolf. Even so, you get rid of unwelcome critics. Concerns were there – even publicly expressed. The fact that these were not unfounded is shown by the events that resulted in 21 dead and hundreds injured and traumatized.

Loveparade trial: Ex-Amtsleiter reports “anger”

Ex-Ordnungsamtleiter testified in the Loveparade process

Officials want to have been against techno parade early

Warnings in conversations and documents

The Duisburg ex-Ordnungsamtleiter has reported on early warnings before the Love Parade 2010. He was from the outset against the techno parade in the city, said the today 68-year-old pensioner on Tuesday (26.06.2018) as a witness in the criminal case before the Duisburg district court. For reasons of space, the main hearing will take place at Messe Düsseldorf.

“Vomit, urine and garbage”

The witness reported “anger” and “anger” because he could not prevail with his concerns against the Love Parade. “I had the pictures of the Love Parade in Tiergarten in Berlin in mind,” said the official, who had led the public office from 2000 to 2014. “Vomit, urine and garbage” he did not want to have in Duisburg.

Criticism of pressure of the media

His position had been because of the expected mass of visitors: “The event can not take place on public streets and squares in Duisburg.” After the cancellation of the 2009 parade in Bochum, however, the pressure had increased – for example, through the media – to carry out the event in the Ruhr Capital of Culture 2010.

The witness said in court that he has repeatedly raised concerns in letters, conversations and endorsements within the administration. The competent department had problems but “not transported up”. For the then selected area on the former freight yard was not the regulatory office, but the building authority was responsible – because it was a fenced area.

Testimony finished

The ex-Amtsleiter was in the meantime even accused, but was not charged. He stood until Wednesday afternoon (27.06.2018) in the witness box answer and answer.

At the Loveparade in July 2010, 21 people were killed in a mass panic. Hundreds were injured. Since the end of 2017, a total of ten employees of the city and the organizer company are on trial for, among other things, negligent homicide.

Neuer Zeuge im Loveparade-Prozess

In the Loveparade trial, the former head of the Duisburg regulatory office now appears in the witness stand. His statement is eagerly awaited, because he had expressed doubts on the security concept before the event, says WDR reporter Benjamin Sartory.

25th June 2018

Saalmiete für Loveparade-Prozess deutlich teurer

The Loveparade process is significantly more expensive than expected. The rented hall in Dusseldorf costs more than twice as much as planned, says the Duisburg district court. Instead of 14,000, it is 29,000 euros per day. Above all, the technology and security personnel are responsible for the additional costs. On Tuesday (26.6.) The 43rd day of the trial will take place. Then says the then head of the Duisburg regulatory office.

13th June 2018

Day 41: … is tough

Today I did not sit in the middle of the hall, but behind the defenders on a press space. Change of perspective.
It does not help me much – it goes on, as it stopped yesterday: tough. With the reading of mails and meeting minutes and templates. And with the question: “Who cares about what?” So then, when planning the Love Parade. I have to fight that I stay with the matter. It’s about details, details, details. Which the judge asks in my opinion, because he wants to clarify whether the objections to the plans have been dispelled objectively or by decision from above.

“Too many names, too many foresight”

Who wrote and wrote something, “can you add something, remember that?” Judge Plein asks the witness. It solicits keywords, more than just data, to remember exactly when. The judge also occasionally lurches around, accidentally calling the traffic surge physicist Schreckenberg Schneckenberg. “Too many names, too many guesses”, sighs Mario Plein. I totally agree with him.

Official agreement

Whether she could start with the legal term of the “official agreement”, asks the judge. “In the meantime already”, is the answer of the witness. “And then?” “At that time I did not know the term.” I do not know him either and so I google it during my lunch break – in the courtroom I’m not allowed to go online – order of the court. It deals with security concepts at events that “the operator has to set up in agreement with the authorities responsible for order”. Allegedly, such an agreement should have been made at a certain planning meeting – but the 63-year-old can not remember that.

lawyers Humor

When she explains something, the witness often gets up very fast and Mario Plein asks her to speak more slowly – many people would have to sign up. From the defender’s side, the suggestion that the trial can be recorded, that is, taken up, is very smooth. “Good idea actually …. “Grins the judge and reaps laughter. At the beginning of the trial, in January, the defense had requested audio logs, but the court had rejected that – the written record and you could also write your own, it said at that time.

6th June 2018

Loveparade process: witness calls important details

Lawyer from Lopavent says again

New details from conversation logs

Apparently put pressure on the city of Duisburg

In the Loveparade trial, the former lawyer of the promoter Lopavent testified and gave new details. On Wednesday (06.06.2018) he admitted, among other things, that he had put pressure on the city of Duisburg in the name of the organizer. “Controversial legal discussions always involve pressure,” he said at the request of Chairman Judge.

Numbers deliberately nicely calculated?

An e-mail to Lopavent employees documents that the lawyer was also ready for “creative solutions” in matters of escape. In the process, this topic was also a conversation between the city and the event organizer centered around an office “that makes an organizer-friendly report”.
The witness is not among the defendants. Shortly after the disaster, he had finished his work for the company Lopavent. At the Loveparade in Duisburg, 21 people were killed in the summer of 2010 in a crush. Hundreds were injured.


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