Police vans in front of the entrance to the regional court, police officers on the stairs, in the corridors and in the hall: the trial of a shooting on the Altmarkt in the Hamborn district of Duisburg has begun under massive security precautions. In May 2022, around 100 people from two rival groups are said to have clashed there. According to the public prosecutor's office, one group is members of the Hells Angels motorcycle club, the other is members of an extended Turkish-Lebanese family.
When the two defendants are led into the hall one after the other by security personnel, they don't even look at each other. Both are 39 years old and German citizens. They are accused, among other things, of attempted murder, grievous bodily harm and breach of the peace.
Prosecutor: Shots were fired from both groups
According to the public prosecutor's investigation, the meeting between the two groups at the Hamborn Altmarkt was planned and arranged. At first the hostile men confronted each other threateningly and shouted insults. But a little later the situation escalated.
The indictment describes how the members of the extended family walked away from the market square and were pursued by the Hells Angels and their sympathizers. Suddenly the first shots were fired at the pursuers from the ranks of the suspected clan members. They then took out firearms and also fired.
The public prosecutor is convinced that the two defendants fired several shots and injured people. One man was shot in the arm and other victims suffered gunshot wounds to the thigh and buttocks.
Machetes, swords, knives and firearms
The police arrested the two defendants in May 2023. Since then they have been in custody in various prisons. Numerous weapons and other prohibited items are said to have been confiscated in the men's apartments. The indictment mentions several machetes, swords, knives and firearms. A brass knuckles and a baton are also said to have been lying around in the apartments within easy reach.
When asked whether the defendants would like to comment on the allegations during the trial, the men's faces remained completely expressionless. The defense attorneys shook their heads in response to the question. “There will be no admission,” they said.
The judges now have to interview numerous witnesses to find out exactly what happened. The process is expected to last at least until July.