Court Refuses To Take Loveparade Case To Trial

Twenty-four people died at the 2010 edition of Loveparade. The Duisburg prosecution indicted 10 individuals two years ago, but there won’t be a case as matters stand. 

Photo: AP Photo / dpa, Erik Wiffers
Concertgoers flee from the Love Parade techno festival in Dusiberg, Germany, in this file photo from 2010. Ten people involved in the event were indicted on charges including involuntary manslaughter over a mass panic that left 21 people dead. 

Among those indicted were six people working for the city of Duisburg, which hosted the 2010 edition, and four working for promoter Lopavent. Charges included involuntary manslaughter and bodily harm, resulting from planning failures and negligence in the monitoring of security procedures. Some 500 more were injured in a crush in a tunnel that was the only access point to the 2010 event.

The regional court of Duisburg decided that the prosecution’s case lacked sufficient evidence to go to trial. It also designated the assessment provided by the prosecution’s expert, Prof. Dr. Keith Still, not applicable due to substantial and methodological flaws.

The prosecution intends to appeal the court’s decision. It claimed that there was no reason to doubt its expert’s knowledge of the subject, and pointed out that there had been a lot more evidence than just the expert assessment.

The case will now move up an instance, meaning that Duisburg’s provincial high court and court of appeal will decide on whether there’ll be a full-fledged trial. While the prosecution’s case against the 10 individuals created the biggest stir, there are other civil cases the Duisburg regional court is currently considering; cases of people seeking compensation.