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Arne Dedert / dpa

Ingolstadt

Was it all young men who were enthusiastic about horsepower and who wanted to impress each other with their predominantly powerful motorized cars and possibly also daring driving style? Or was it a completely normal circle of friends who indulged in all sorts of leisure activities and in which the cars were only a nice minor matter, as it is now said soothingly in several testimonies?

The illuminating of the private environment of the defendant, who lives in Geisenfeld is an important part of the evidence taking in the so-called speeding trial of the fatal motorway accident between Manching and Ingolstadt on October 20, 2019 (DK reported repeatedly). The 1st criminal division dedicated itself to this complex for a few hours on Monday, the fourth day of the trial.

Several good buddies of the now 24-year-old man in the dock, including himself with Turkish roots and mostly employed in vehicle construction like him, were heard and asked about details from a joint chat group. There it was always about things that could point to a cult around hot tires and possibly also illegal upgrading of vehicles.

Chairman Konrad Kliegl and his assessors as well as public prosecutor Johanna Harrer confronted the witnesses several times with contributions from the defendant from the messenger group. Sometimes there was talk of an invitation to an apparently fast-paced trip to Munich (“Whoever comes last, pays the tank”), sometimes of a so-called speed camera equipment (light signal system for the front of the car as in emergency vehicles of the police and rescue services ), which was apparently intended to make an impression when driving on the motorway.

After the terrible crash on the A9 with the fatality in the second vehicle involved, this equipment was found in the trunk of the car that had caused the accident, previously a good 560 HP strong BMW. As the later examination of the wreck revealed, the engine output had been increased by software manipulations and the exhaust system changed. For all these things, the investigators found certain points of contact in chats of the circle of friends, but the witnesses today do not want to be able to remember exactly. Or they explain the contributions at the time as not being taken seriously – it was all “just fun”, it is now said. The friend who is now accused was seen as a level-headed driver. One of the buddies even described him as “considerate” and “respectful”.

In the first trial of this dramatic rear-end collision, which was broken off last autumn due to a failure in the court occupation, the defendant’s circle of friends was questioned on all these issues. At that time, too, there were many qualifying statements by the young men, and even then the court and public prosecutor’s office did not seem really convinced of the answers. The prosecution had two of these witnesses arrested directly in the courtroom on suspicion of improper testimony. Proceedings are still ongoing against these young men.

Attorney Adam Ahmed from Munich, who is defending the 24-year-old Geisenfelder together with his lawyer colleague Andreas Ruch, felt compelled to explain because of the recent critical inquiries from the court and the prosecutor. He pointed out that the interviews should not amount to considering pure interpretations and conclusions as provable. Chairman Kliegl immediately assured that the chamber will only draw conclusions from things that it considers to be clearly proven. The next day of trial in this manslaughter is March 4th. DK

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