Officials and event organisers face five years in prison if found guilty over the deaths of 10 festival goers
Facing charges of negligence resulting in wrongful death and wrongful injury are six people employed at the time by the Duisburg city council and four by the event organiser Lopavent.
The victims, aged between 17 and 38 years, were among the huge crowd of partygoers who converged on Duisburg’s former rail freight and shunting yards through an overcrowded tunnel. A further 652 people were injured during the crush.
The trial is one of the biggest in post-war Germany with 70 lawyers involved, 32 representing defendants and 38 representing 65 joint plaintiffs. The prosecutors allege that severe mistakes were made in planning and authorising the festival and that safety measures were insufficient. The Defense attorneys argue that a number of factors led to the catastrophe beyond the scope of their clients
If convicted, the maximum sentence would be five years’ imprisonment.