Before the trial unfolded those lining up in front of the court noticed that right next to the court was a traveling circus with its large tents and animals walking around in small enclosures. Apropriate in that UPIII was arrested during “Do or Die” Animal Rights Convergence at Hambi and doubly apropriate in some of the circus like proceedings that followed in the courtroom.
UPIII makes no statement in the process. It was admirable that she* presented herself in very good condition, smiled almost constantly and encouraged all supporters.
The arrest warrant is maintained after lengthy consultations with the prosecutor and defense attorney. Judge of 25 years at the court and also at the youth court in Kerpen describes defendants as stubborn.
A suspended sentence would be out of the question due to a lack of control over conditions. At the beginning of the trial, the judge positively pointed out that UPIII is committed to environmental protection, but in his opinion in the wrong way. So lack of “control conditions” seems to indicate continuing commitment to activism?
Judge also tries to appeal to UPIII emotionally by saying that he is sure that people would be happy to take her* in their arms.
Then there were corresponding testimonies that the alleged perpetrator threw firecrackers several times from a distance of approx. 20-25 metres in the direction of a group of police whose task it was to secure a hole in the ground.
All police forces had put their helmets on after they noticed the first firecracker which definitely hadn’t come from UPIII. The alleged perpetrator is said to have used a classic throwing technique with a sweeping movement over the shoulder.
According to the first witness, the trajectory was always too short due to a lack of throwing power for a threat to have occurred (witness: I cannot throw myself either).
According to another witness, who did not criticize the perpetrator’s throwing technique, the perpetrator missed the next policeman in one of her attempts only at a distance of about three meters (witness: Since I play handball myself, I know how to throw effectively).
All witnesses have also seen the alleged perpetrator after her arrest and removal of her face cover and are certain that the person arrested is identical to the accused in the courtroom.
A policewoman is convinced that she has not let the alleged firecracker thrower from one of her firecracker thrower out of sight, despite the fact that she described the situation in the forest and the arest happened at the train station over 2km away and some time later..
Why the other policemen* inside can assume that the arrested must have been also the thrower, is unfortunately not concretely questioned.
(Own note: It cannot be excluded at all that two similarly dressed persons of similar stature might have been in the undergrowth or that jackets and scarves were exchanged among themselves. Besides, it wasn’t really bright yet, the operation started in the darkness.
The firecracker thrower is only described as a person of stronger stature with olive-green trousers, black jacket and light scarf to cover up, which is described by the first witness without consultation as conspicuous clothing.
However, another witness also believes it could have been a dark blue jacket. Also the colour of the scarf cannot be clearly indicated as white or light grey.
Things of undetectable relevance are being discussed without a limit.
This would not be tragic if, on the other hand, after a total of more than four hours of witness hearings, police forces, without exception, had not completely ignored elementary things:
– Did the alleged perpetrator take a run-up with her projectile?
– How large was their radius of action?
– Did she move fluently with a group, did she sometimes set the direction herself?
– Were firecrackers deflected from trees?
– What were the visibility conditions?
– How did the alleged perpetrator behave after throwing? (e.g. recoiling, approaching, cheering, visible disappointment, targeted search for a better throwing position, increased or reduced aggressiveness, etc.)
– How bright was it early in the morning anyway?
None of this has been discussed.
And it could not even be determined whether UPIII made additional protest / drum noises, e.g. by means of pot lids, as several activists did this morning.
Witnesses essentially admit that they are unable to give any further details on the times and durations of the firecracker
While one officer believed that the arrest of UPIII was possible by forming a task force by his unit to make arrests when the opportunity arose, another officer later felt that it was crucial that his support imot could approach the perpetrator unnoticed from behind.
A special section deserves the interrogation of the witness of the evidence team (who made video recordings that day).
Components of his statement were that only phased photographs were taken (witness: you have to imagine it like this: I can press play and pause on the camera) and that the situation was difficult for him (witness: In a forest, you cannot get an overview when filming, e.g. in a clearing or in open terrain).
Therefore, he could not make any statements about the number of persons who were in the forest.
Before he was to film the situation in the forest regarding the firecracker litters, he was busy with filming the hole that was being filled, which was used by the underground fire brigade at the burrow, in order to inspect it again before backfilling.
Here the witness checked whether it would not have been more important to put this filming back in the sense of the threatened colleagues*. The witness referred to the instructions of the operations command, the defender asked about the personal experiences of the witness.
A dispute arose here, as the defence felt that the witness gave little informative answers. The judge tried to mediate by asking the witness whether he was entrusted with the task rather five times or rather fifty times. Then more like 50 times was the answer.
The judge wanted to know when it would have been the last time that he had operated the camera to preserve evidence. Witness’ answer: I can’t tell you that exactly. The frequency of camera teams being used being presently very low.
The defender wanted to know if there were any real-time data in the recordings. The witness replied that the commonly used VLC playback software would display time information that he believed was based on the time stamps that are also visible in the file folders.
(Own note: These time stamps are so easy to manipulate that they could not be considered conclusive in case of doubt.)
The witness also looked at the file folder on the notebook on the judge’s desk. Witness after a few seconds: At first glance, I can see that the file folder is not complete. The first file name usually has a “1” at the end.
It is also worth mentioning that the witness was contacted by phone by a judge before the trial. Thus, in his interrogation of some questions, the witness improperly referred to the statements he had made on this occasion.
There were no questions about the name of the judge and if and where there is a protocol. Also why the witness immediately afterwards felt induced to call his colleague (first witness) to discuss the events on March 19 was not questioned.
(Own note: Both reasons for the motivation and whether the calling judge would have recommended this procedure to the witness remain hidden from the public forever.)
Furthermore, the witness stated that, after receiving the summons to the trial, he had a conversation in a duty room with colleagues of the operation to clarify which person could be UPIII.
Witness: “We had agreed” that it must be the lady present here.
The defender repeated this statement with a raised forefinger and added that it is a prime example of a statement in criminal proceedings that completely shakes the credibility of a witness.
The defender pointed out to the witness that he was not an assistant student, but a police officer. This statement by the defender prompted neither the judge nor the public prosecutor to object.
Comparing a police officer with an assistant student therefore seems to be opportune for judges and prosecutors.
Since the witness was unable to provide any further information on the defender’s satisfaction in response to further questions from the defender, the judge felt compelled to make a statement and said that the witness does not or cannot make any better statements.
The witness was dismissed, although his recordings were still to be viewed (and thus would no longer have been available for possible inquiries.)
During the later viewing of the videos on the notebook on the judge’s desk (very difficult for the audience inside to see, since the view was covered) the judge stopped several times selected recordings to count the number of persons.
(Judge: Yesterday I came up to 14 people at this recording. But not all of them can be seen at once. Drumming noises could be heard using pots, for example.)
Conclusion: It is always best to form your own opinion.
Next opportunity: Tue., 31.07., 8.30 am Local Court Kerpen