Today, 23rd of January, the first session of the trial took place against our anarchist comrades accused of robbing a Pax Bank branch in November 2014 in the city of Aachen.
In the room there was the representative of the Prosecutor’s Office, the judge, the defendants with their respective lawyers, a “people’s jury” (which does not take decisions), journalists, who were not permitted to record inside the courtroom in compliance with the request of the defense lawyers (although their cameras were rolling outside the courtroom), and the public composed of family, friends and comrades of the defendants, who occupied the 30-40 seats available.
After the procedural formalities and the reading of the accusations by the prosecutor (armed robbery and illegal weapons possession), one of the defense attorneys requested a deferral of three-weeks of the trial on the grounds that they did not have access to a part of the investigation files because the prosecution had not yet provided it. The lawyers argued that this hindered their ability to give a full and fair defense to their clients.
After hearing the arguments of both the prosecution and the defense, the judge ordered the audience to leave the courtroom a total of three times to deliberate in private with both parties before rejecting the postponement.
Among their arguments, the prosecution alleged the non-relevance of such documents for this case. Only in the end did they admit that there was an other part of the files that is related to the ongoing investigation, which they will not reveal.
Even the judge acknowledged that he did not see a big part of the files that the defense demanded, but countered this by noting that this is common in many trials. However the lawyers insisted that the relevance or not of these documents should be decided by the defense not by the prosecution.
Finally, the judge rejected the three-week deferral, but suspended the session on Thursday, January 26, to give the defense time to read the part of the investigation files to which access was granted (which is not all). The next session will be on February 9th, in principle the program of this day already includes some witnesses taking the stand, including a police officer of the Spanish state.
Several supporters of different countries were present to show their support during the 4 and a half hour session. Our comrades received our warmth in cold Germany, while an exchange of glances and gestures of complicity were passing back and forth all morning, transmitting force, demonstrating once again that in the face of repression and confinement, solidarity among those in struggle defies walls and borders.