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Der Leitende Oberstaatsanwalt in Duisburg Der Pressedezernent

Staatsanwaltschaft Duisburg, Postfach 10 15 10, 47051 Duisburg

To Editorial Offices
Date: 12th February 2014 Reference: 112 Js 23/11 Please always indicate

Love Parade 2010 Preliminary proceedings completed Public Prosecutor's Office Duisburg launches prosecution
Person responsible: OStA Schwarz Phone: +49 203 9938-925

On 10th February 2014, the Public Prosecutors Office Duisburg completed investigations concerning the tragic events at the Love Parade 2010 and launched prosecution at the Regional Court of Duisburg against four employees of the organizing firm L. GmbH as well as against six public servants of the City of Duisburg. Criminal charges are made for involuntary manslaughter, bodily injury caused by negligence and bodily injury caused by negligence on duty. The proceedings against six accused persons were stopped, because the investigations did not result in sufficient grounds for suspicion. Preliminary proceedings against further persons have not been instituted for the very reason that there have not been indications of punishability at any time. This decision represents an end to intensive investigations lasting about three and a half years with which 96 police officers of the Police Commissioner of Cologne as well as five departmental heads and one head of department of the Public Prosecutors Office dealt with. The charge of indictment, submitted to the Regional Court, comprises 556 pages. The case files comprise a total of 76 volumes with more than 37,000 pages as well as 623 special volumes and evidence files. Furthermore, 19 cardboards with exhibits have been supplied to the Regional Court. In addition there are data carriers with a volume of some 804 terabytes as well as comprehensive video footage (963 hours). According to the investigation results, the fatal outcome of the Love Parade is solely due to two causes. Fatal errors with the planning and

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approval of the event as well as a lack of monitoring safety-relevant requirements on the day of the event led to the fact that 21 persons died and at least 652 persons were injured, some of them seriously. The four employees of the organizing firm include the event director, the production manager, the person responsible for safety as well as the technical leader of the 2010 Love Parade project. The entry/exit system planned by them was not suitable for safely guiding the visitors to the event site in the area of the previous railway goods station. In particular, the so-called Eastern Ramp was clearly too narrow to accommodate the expected visitor streams. That is why in the course of the event it was inevitable that life threatening situations would occur, because too many people would be crowded together in a too confined space. In case of a careful and conscientious inspection, the employees should have recognized this. A building permit was necessary for carrying out the Love Parade. A team consisting of three public servants of the Office for Building Law and Building Consultancy of the City of Duisburg checked the corresponding application of the L. GmbH, including the suitability of the planned entry/exit system. The Public Prosecutors Office blames these persons for having granted approval of the application, although they also should have been able to recognize that due to serious planning errors it was impracticable for the event to be carried out and that it was not capable of being approved. Furthermore, three municipal employees in a managerial capacity are accused. They are the head of department responsible for the audit team, the Office Manageress, and the then Councillor of the City of Duisburg responsible for urban development. They failed to properly supervise the approval procedure. If they had dutifully supervised the audit team who were under their control, the severe planning errors would have been recognized and the event would not have been approved. Moreover, on the day of the event, fences narrowed the passageway which was already too tight at the Eastern Ramp. According to the outcome of the investigations, all ten accused persons bear the responsibility for this, too. Employees of the organizing firm did not ensure that

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the fences were removed, although it had been provided for in the approval that this area was to be kept free from obstacles. The municipal employees failed to check if the requirements of the approval were met, although they were obliged to do that. During the afternoon of 24th July 2010, the entry and exit system broke down due to the errors which had already been made in the planning. Many visitors flowed from different directions toward the Eastern Ramp in an uncontrolled way. Between 4.30 pm and 5.15 pm, several thousand visitors crowded in this area. The congestion of people reached its highest density in front of the fence installations on the ramp which were not in line with the approval. The immense pressure within the crowd led to the mentioned deaths and injuries. The proceedings against the Councillor of the City of Duisburg being in charge of public order, against leading employees of the Public Order Office and the District Office Mitte, against the Police Leader on the day of the event as well as against the so-called Crowd Manager employed by the organizing firm have been closed. The investigations did not result in any suspicion which would have justified bringing in action against these persons. These persons, as well as numerous other employees of public authorities, were involved in the planning and execution of the Love Parade in different ways. But their participation was not the cause for the fatal compression of people. In particular, they did not have comprehensive insight into the planning documents which would have made it possible for them to recognize the fatal immanent errors. Apart from that, they were entitled to expect that the Office for Building Law and Building Consultancy, which was in charge of approving the event and had the sole responsibility for checking the construction plans, would do so in a careful way. Other incidents on the day of the event have not become relevant under criminal law. According to the findings of an internationally recognized expert, the police measures in particular, whether taken into account separately or together, were not the cause for the tragic end of the Love Parade. The Public Prosecutors Office also intensely checked whether

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the responsible persons on site, namely the Police Leader on duty, failed to take measures which could still have averted the fatal outcome of the events. The investigations, however, did not confirm this reproach. Contrary to media reports providing otherwise, the threatening danger of fatalities and injuries was not already recognizable in the early afternoon, but only at a much later point in time when, according to the findings of the expert, it was not possible any more to stop further events from happening. There is no reason for initiating investigations against further persons. This particularly applies to the then Lord Mayor of the City of Duisburg and the manager of the organizing firm. There are no reasons to believe that they themselves had any influence on the faulty planning or on granting the unlawful approval. They were also entitled to be confident that the persons who were responsible for the planning and approval would duly check the project on the basis of their expertise.

Michael Schwarz Senior Public Prosecutor