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Judge’s offer causes bewilderment at Berlin gang rape trial

The offer of a judge at the Berlin Regional Court caused outrage on Wednesday. The background is a lawsuit concerning the gang rape of a defenceless 17 year old and the production of underaged pornographic material "that reflect an actual event".

Published: May 14, 2021, 10:55 am

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    According to the Berliner Zeitung (BZ) the judge has offered the five defendants a suspended sentence in the event of a confession.

    In October 2019, according to the newspaper, a party was held in a luxury suite in the Hotel Westin Grand in Berlin. The men born in Germany with African roots (Nigeria, Togo, Cameroon, Sierra Leone) are said to have raped a 17-year-old very drunk girl.

    The men between the ages of 20 and 21 filmed themselves, according to the prosecution. The recordings were secured as evidence, as was the DNA material of three of the alleged perpetrators.

    In the case of confessions, suspended sentences may be possible, without the threat of jail, according to the judge. The defendants have all refused and therefore, the traumatized victim will have to testify soon.

    The videos of the rape were played on a big screen in the court room. The girl is seen lying there as if in a coma. A friend had left the girl alone at the time and pounded in vain with her fists on the closed door while her friend was being raped inside. The friend then ran to the hotel reception and the police was alerted.

    The friend of the raped girl was called as a witness. According to the BZ , the friend – fearing for her life – would initially not attend the proceedings. For that reason she had faced a fine of 150 euros or six days in prison. Due to the threat, she appeared only on the next day of the trial for which judgment has been reserved for July 2.

    The alleged crime scene was not a dark corner in a suburban ghetto, but a suite in the Berlin luxury hotel at the corner of Friedrichstrasse, in the city centre. And the suspects come from well-to-do families. The BZ described them as follows: “Five men from the African community in the dock. All born in Germany, all from good families. Million A. (20) is German-Nigerian. Oluwatobi Az. (20) German Sierra Leone. Jermaine G. (20) German-Togoer. Tita N. (21) German-Cameroonian. Jermaine Az. (20) does not have a second nationality.”

    Although the newspaper chose to include “German” in their description of the Africans, many Germans would disagree.

    In addition to the group of perpetrators and the scene of the crime, other circumstances are unusual. The rape was filmed and the recordings were presented to the court. And there was a witness, a friend of the victim. However, she was apparently intimidated to such an extent that she had to be brought to the court escorted by police because she did not want to appear voluntarily.

    Apparently none of the parties involved became a better person due to the wide range of financial options available to them even though pro-immigration advocates often argue that the high crime rate of their protégés is a result of “social disadvantage”.

    Except for the BZ, no German newspaper, let alone television or radio, has reported on this scandal so far.

    The deputy party chairman of the AfD, Beatrix von Storch, reacted with disbelief to the judge’s offer. “And then we wonder if they don’t take our legal system seriously?”

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