Trial scheduled in wrong city

In order to support the protest against the clearing of the forest for the further construction of the Autobahn 49 in central Hesse, they paralyzed the morning rush hour for several days in autumn 2020: So-called environmental activists abseiled down motorway bridges in the Rhine-Main area. They put up banners with the motto: "You take the forest, let's take the streets". They hardly put themselves in danger. Special police squads flown in by helicopter very carefully rescued the young men and women. However, there were a few accidents in the traffic jams caused, and some drivers were seriously injured.

Many of the subsequent criminal proceedings, mostly for coercion and violation of the Assembly Act, have now been concluded. The investigation proved difficult. Because in preparation, the protesters not only practiced climbing, but also how to make their faces unrecognizable with paint and their fingertips with glue. Many did not provide their personal details after being arrested. Some were taken into custody as a result. Reason: Because they did not want to reveal their identity, there was a risk of absconding, which means that it was to be expected that they would evade criminal prosecution.

Bridge not even within Frankfurt's boundaries

Some of the five defendants against whom the Frankfurt District Court wanted to negotiate last Monday also sat for several weeks. They are said to be on October 26, 2020 over the A 5 from a pedestrian bridge on Frankfurt airport, near Zeppelinheim. This is located in the district of Neu-Isenburg, an area for which the public prosecutor's office in Darmstadt and the district court in Offenbach are responsible. On that day, the police brought the activists who had been temporarily arrested near Frankfurt Airport to the central police custody of the Frankfurt police headquarters and contacted the prosecutors in Frankfurt. Due to the fact that their identities could not be determined, they applied for arrest warrants at the nearest district court, i.e. the one in Frankfurt, which then ordered pre-trial detention.

As a result, the Frankfurt public prosecutor's office brought charges, the district court admitted them, opened the main proceedings and set dates for the trial. But shortly before the first day of negotiations, it was evident that there had been a mistake, because the bridge is not on Frankfurt's boundaries. The appointment has been cancelled. How the breakdown came about is still being investigated. Perhaps the police were mistaken in thinking that the section of the autobahn was part of the Frankfurt district. Apparently, neither the public prosecutor nor the court checked this. Now the question is: What will become of the procedure?

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