19. September 2012 · Kommentare deaktiviert für 100 Prozesstage – Somalis in Hamburg · Kategorien: Deutschland · Tags: ,


100 days of trial – no reason to celebrate

Posted: 17 Sep 2012 10:50 PM PDT

After 100 long and torturous days in court the trial is finally coming to a close. Today for the 100th time the accused walked trough the tunnel that connects the remand prison with the court building. For the 100th time twenty lawyers assembled, three translators drove long distances to get to court and four jury members left their lives behind and spent up to eight hours in room 337 of the Hamburg criminal court building. And for the 100th time the guards dozed off during the proceedings.

For the 100th time members of the public (including two observers from a shipping company) sat behind the glass separating the public from the court and listened via the speaker system.
During the 100 days of the trial the judge announced five times that the trial was coming to a close. During all this time not a single witness from Somalia was heard. For 100 times the accused wished for a quick end to the trial, no matter what.

In the meantime the 200 posts on this blog have been visited over 20,000 times. One third of those visits have come from outside Germany. While during the beginning, when the Dutch navy officers appeared in court, the blog received lots of hits from the Netherlands, it is now more diverse. When the Indian journalist gave evidence, we had interest from India and Pakistan; when the ‚crown witness‘ spoke, access from the UK went up. But the blog is also read in Russia, Thailand, Sweden and South Africa, to name just a few countries.

When we started this blog, we had no idea the trial would stretch out over two years. We also had no idea what it would mean to report continuously for this length of time. And we certainly did not anticipate that this blog would provide the only continuous coverage of the trial – most of the mainstream media lost interest quickly. Only a few journalists have attended the trial over the last few months and no other media outlet has reported consistently about every trial date.

There has been considerable interest in finding out who writes the blog. We’ve been told by people who have attended court that they have been asked who was behind the blog. People have been speculating: it has to be someone who attends every court session, but it won’t be the judge, nor the jury, nor the lawyers and certainly not the prosecutor. That leaves the guards…

We are not secret, but we also don’t think it matters. The blog was created to provide a different view on the trial than what the sensationalist reporting of the mainstream media provides. We wanted to highlight the issues that do not get heard in court: the impossibility of applying German judicial standards to events that took place off the coast of Somalia, the Euro-centric bias of the court, the lack of willingness by the court to hear any witnesses that would have supported the accused’s version of the events. The message is important, not the messenger.

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