AG Hamburg: judgment in the Rolling Stones ticket affair

A concert that the Rolling Stones gave in 2017 in Hamburg’s Stadtpark continues to preoccupy the judiciary. Now a senior officer has been sentenced again. She has to pay around 14,000 euros.

Almost four years after the Rolling Stones concert in Hamburg’s Stadtpark, a senior civil servant was convicted for the second time for accepting tickets. The Hamburg District Court found a department head in the North District Office guilty of accepting benefits and inducing subordinates to commit a crime. The 56-year-old has accepted two free tickets and tolerated that four subordinate department heads also accept free tickets. The defendant must therefore pay 120 daily rates of 115 euros each and bear the costs of the proceedings. The cost of the free tickets for you and your companion in the amount of 336.80 euros should also be collected (26.08.2021, Az. 248a Ds 28/19).

“It has become an expensive concert for you, you have to pay just under 14,000 euros,” said Judge Steffen Brauer to the defendant. The process had shown that the management floor of the Hamburg-Nord district office had lost its sense of what a civil servant should accept. He did not see any real awareness of injustice among those involved. The public prosecutor had demanded a fine of 80 daily rates of 300 euros each. The defense had pleaded for acquittal.

The two tickets belonged to a contingent of 100 free tickets, which Harald Rösler (SPD), then district office manager, is said to have requested from the concert organizer. The district office had approved the concert in Hamburg’s city park. Around 82,000 fans came to see Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Ron Wood and the drummer Charlie Watts, who only died on Tuesday. Over-the-counter tickets cost between 100 and almost 900 euros.

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Representative role at a rock concert?

In a first trial of the ticket affair at the end of 2019, a former state councilor was sentenced to a fine of 120 daily rates of 170 euros each. This judgment is not yet final either. In March of last year, the public prosecutor brought charges against the district office manager Rösler. According to the will of the prosecution, the deputy head of the district office and two people in charge of the concert production company should also come to court.

The head of the department had justified herself by saying that as a member of the district administration and head of the disaster management team, she had representative duties. You would have wanted to show that the trunk trust their security concept. The judge contradicted this. “It was a concert by the world’s most famous rock group,” he said. There were only four Rolling Stones concerts in Germany that year. The 80,000 visitors came from all over northern Germany. “How many of them did you and your four department heads know?” Asked Brauer and continued: “The answer: only a very small number.” The concert was “a completely wrong place for representing the district office”.

At the same time, the judge paid his respects to the defendant because she had already taken political responsibility for her mistake. She was elected Rösler’s successor, but resigned from office because of the criminal investigation.

dpa / cp / LTO editorial team