Crime: Hells Angels trial in Spain has begun

An impending long time behind bars apparently leaves the former rocker boss Frank Hanebuth cold.

Crime: Hells Angels trial in Spain has begun

An impending long time behind bars apparently leaves the former rocker boss Frank Hanebuth cold. At the start of criminal proceedings in Spain against him and 48 other alleged ex-members and helpers of the notorious Hells Angels motorcycle gang, the 58-year-old from Hanover was relaxed. He has nothing to fear, he told a reporter from the "Mallorca Zeitung" on Monday, before he took his place in the front of the dock in the hall of the National State Court in San Fernando de Henares near Madrid.

The almost two-meter-tall former boxer, who was arrested almost ten years ago, in the summer of 2013, in a spectacular raid on Mallorca together with several alleged accomplices on charges such as forming a criminal organization, pimping, drug trafficking and threats, protested in front of the numerous published journalists: "I'm glad that it's finally starting."

The defendant is not seeking any deals

The public prosecutor is demanding a total of 13 years in prison for Hanebuth. The crimes he and the other accused are accused of were said to have been committed in Mallorca between 2009 and 2013 - especially on Playa de Palma, the famous "Ballermann". Hanebuth is said to have led the Hells Angels on the holiday island.

The German's lawyers meanwhile assure that there is no evidence against him - and the evidence against other defendants is also weak. The trial began with a delay of almost four hours because the prosecution tried to negotiate deals with as many defendants as possible shortly before the start of the hearing. However, your client did not seek a deal because he considers himself innocent.

Unlike Hanebuth, many of the male and female co-defendants - mostly Germans, but also Turks, Spaniards and Luxembourgers - accepted an agreement. In exchange for an admission of guilt, they received significant reductions in sentences, as was announced on the first day of the trial. The total sentences of imprisonment demanded, which had originally totaled almost 300 years, were reduced considerably as a result. Some of the accused connected via video, four stayed away from the court without an excuse, according to the judiciary and are now wanted. The trial runs until February 10. However, it will be weeks, maybe even months, before the sentence is announced.

Luxury life on the holiday island

Hanebuth showed up punctually on the first day in a black winter coat and blue-mirrored sunglasses. During the long wait, he chatted casually with some people in the auditorium, and there was even loud laughter. He should testify on one of the first days of the trial, as his lawyer told dpa. Exactly when is not certain yet.

According to the police, almost all suspects had “lived a life of luxury” in Mallorca. Hanebuth, for example, lived on a finca in Lloret de Vistalegre in the center of the island, the value of which was estimated by the authorities at 2.5 million euros. After two years behind bars, Hanebuth - who was president of the Hells Angels Hannover for years before moving to Mallorca - was released in the summer of 2015 on bail of 60,000 euros and under conditions from custody in a high-security prison in Cadiz in southern Spain . He was only allowed to leave the southern European country in 2017. He then returned to Germany.

Since returning, Hanebuth has lived near Hanover. In 2017, his marriage caused a stir. Because hundreds of guests and onlookers came, the police had to block roads at short notice. The ex-rocker boss was also seen in the Steintorviertel, the red-light district of Hanover. On Facebook he runs a page as a public figure. He signs Frank 818. The abbreviation 81 often stands for the initials of the Hells Angels, the organization founded in California decades ago, whose members wore a winged skull on the back of their habit.

In Germany, Hanebuth has never had to face such serious allegations in court as in Spain. In November, he was sentenced to a fine of 4,800 euros at the Hanover Regional Court for being an accessory to dangerous bodily harm in a less serious case and for possessing electric shock devices and live ammunition. However, his lawyers appealed.

National State Court Audiencia Nacional

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