In the summer of 2000, someone attacked a group of language students in Düsseldorf. It is still unclear who is responsible. A suspect from the right-wing scene is acquitted for lack of evidence. Only the BGH could shake it up.
Karlsruhe (AP) – On July 27, 2000, a pipe bomb exploded next to a group of Eastern European language students in Düsseldorf – two decades later, the victims are still waiting for justice.
A longtime suspect as a hitman was acquitted in 2018 for lack of clear evidence. Only the Federal Court of Justice (BGH) could change that. On Thursday (11.30 a.m.) the highest criminal courts in Karlsruhe will announce their verdict. (Az. 3 StR 124/20)
The partly Jewish language students came from Russia, Ukraine and Azerbaijan. Ten of them were injured, some of them life-threatening, in the attack on Düsseldorf’s Wehrhahn S-Bahn station, and a pregnant woman lost her child to a splinter.
The now 54-year-old defendant, a right-wing radical, was quickly suspected at the time – also because he had a militaria shop directly opposite the language school. But in 2002 the Prosecution had to close the case. Years later, when an ex-con claimed the man confessed to the crime, the investigation was resumed.
In the trial before the Düsseldorf Regional Court, however, there was no clear trace or evidence, and witnesses barely remembered or became entangled in contradictions after the long time. That was not enough for the judges, they decided to acquit. The public prosecutor’s office has appealed against this in Karlsruhe.
However, after the negotiations at the end of November, the victims have to fear that this is not very promising. Because not only the defense, but also the federal prosecutor pleaded not to quash the verdict. It appears at the BGH instead of the public prosecutor’s office and does not need to appeal.
Should the Karlsruhe judges confirm the acquittal, it will be final. One of the victims’ lawyers, Yuri Rogner, had demanded on the sidelines of the hearing that the perpetrator be subsequently sought. The co-plaintiffs are convinced that the right person was in the dock. (Az. 3 StR 124/20)
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