The rampage in Trier had caused horror nationwide. A man raced through the pedestrian zone in an SUV, deliberately killing and injuring passers-by. In the process he doesn’t want to say now.
Trier – After the fatal rampage through the Trier pedestrian zone, the alleged perpetrator does not want to comment in the process. “I don’t want to make a statement myself,” he said at the start of the trial before the Trier district court. His defense attorney Martha Schwiering added: “Neither on the person nor on the matter.”
Senior Public Prosecutor Eric Samel had previously read out the indictment: The 51-year-old defendant is accused of murdering five people in his SUV on December 1, 2020. In addition, the charge was attempted murder in 18 cases – with 14 passers-by were seriously injured. Four people were able to save themselves at the last second.
It was the intention of the German to kill or injure as many people as possible when he targeted them at high speed, said Samel. He took advantage of the “innocence and defenselessness” of the pedestrians, who were not aware of any danger. Therefore, the act with the auto weapon was insidious, said Samel.
Dead, injured and traumatized eyewitnesses
Five people were killed: a nine-week-old baby, his father (45) and three women aged 73, 52 and 25. There were also numerous injuries and around 300 traumatized eyewitnesses.
The accused was single, unemployed, without a permanent address and apparently frustrated by his personal circumstances, said the chief prosecutor. He felt he was misunderstood by lawyers and notaries. “He developed a general hatred of society.” With this in mind, he got into the car on the day of the tattoo.
The process began under heightened security measures. The defendant took a seat behind mobile armored glass. The trained electrician listened to the prosecution, motionless but tense. He was brought into the room with handcuffs and shackles. A total of 14 co-plaintiffs were represented by lawyers. Only a few relatives and victims appeared.
“It will be an emotional process,” said attorney Otmar Schaffarczyk, who represents the brother of the elderly woman who was killed. It is the question of why that concerns relatives and victims above all. It therefore hit his client hard that the accused refused to make a statement. Representatives of the emergency pastoral care and the foundation disaster aftercare were on site as contact persons for victims and their relatives.
A total of 26 appointments are scheduled in the process until the end of January 2022. “I am currently assuming that we will need at least 26 appointments,” said Samel. Prosecutors have named a possible 291 witnesses to investigate the terrible events. After the rampage, Trier was in shock for days and then fell into mourning for weeks.
In addition to the question of the why of the act, the question of the culpability of the accused will be central in the process. According to a preliminary assessment of a psychiatric expert, the defendant suffers from a psychosis. This also includes an expert – the court must then decide on it. The trial continues on September 3rd. dpa