"It doesn't help," says judge Andreas Forstner and shrugs his shoulders a little resignedly. Then he enters the hearing of evidence in the appeal proceedings against Jérôme Boateng before the Munich I District Court and questions the former partner of the soccer star, who claims to have been beaten by the 34-year-old.
Forstner would have liked to have spared himself and all those involved what he calls "an extensive and unpleasant process". However, Boateng does not accept his suggestion that the process should be completed "as unproblematically and without much effort" but still "appropriately".
The 2014 soccer world champion rejected the suggestion to the parties to largely withdraw the appeal and only to take action against the legal consequences, i.e. only to negotiate the amount of the penalty. He could not "reconcile this with his conscience" and could not agree to the proposal, also out of responsibility towards his daughters.
Even if the negotiation will certainly be "exhausting and lengthy", Boateng does not want to accept the offer of an agreement, the lawyers emphasize. At the same time, judge Forstner made it clear at the beginning of the hearing that he considers the judgment of the district court, which sentenced Boateng to a total fine of 1.8 million euros in 2021, to be well founded.
The district court had imposed a fine of 60 daily rates of 30,000 euros each. 30,000 euros is the highest possible daily rate, but Boateng does not have a criminal record. Only from 90 daily rates is one considered a criminal record. It could also end worse for him in the appeal process, says the judge.
The public prosecutor, who had assumed dangerous bodily harm in their indictment, had demanded a suspended sentence of one and a half years and a fine of 1.5 million euros - Boateng's defense attorney at the time, however, an acquittal.
And so initially only the young woman, with whom Boateng had an "on-off relationship" from 2007 to 2018, then on Thursday for hours again about this apparently fateful evening four years ago in the Caribbean holiday paradise, which began with a card game and then must have gotten out of hand.
In a luxury resort on the Turks and Caicos Islands, where she and Boateng spent a few days together with their twin daughters and friends, the mood escalated - there's no question about that. But what exactly happened is a matter of disagreement between the ex-partners.
"Then he pulled me a bit forward by the hair," says the woman. Boateng put his thumb in her eye, punched her in the flank with his fist and bit her in the head, "drilled his teeth into my head". He spat in her face and insulted her in the worst possible way. Before that, he threw a filled cooler bag at her and hit her on the back.
Not the first attack?
She also emphasizes that it was not the first attack of this kind in the eleven-year relationship between her and Boateng: "Such attacks have often happened in the past." She was "used to the fact that there were violent attacks, that it was toxic". The relationship was "characterized by arguments, characterized by infidelity, violence, a lot of insecurities, little conversation and if so, then very immature, very manipulative".
Her ex-boyfriend even wanted to persuade her not to testify against him, offered her money - sometimes through third parties - a car, a house in Munich and regular contact with the ten-year-old daughters who live with their father.
Boateng shook his head several times when his ex-girlfriend testified and kept talking quietly to his lawyers. Otherwise he is silent. In their questioning of the ex-girlfriend, however, his lawyers leave no doubt about the version they want to present in court, asking again and again about the 18 family law proceedings that took place in the dispute over the right to determine the place of residence and dealing with the two daughters at the district court . "She invented everything because of family law references," Judge Forstner summarizes the defense's arguments.
Two days of negotiations were originally scheduled for the new process. The verdict should actually fall this Friday. However, because Boateng's defense has requested that all files from the family law proceedings be included in the current process and that the joint plaintiff may also be questioned again, there are great doubts that the process can really come to an end after two days.
"We have a lot of time," says the judge, dismayed. "If it's supposed to be, we'll take the time."