Manfred Genditzki only wants to get rid of three things. Point one: "I found out here for the first time that the Chamber is interested in the truth," he said on Monday in front of the Munich I Regional Court. He then thanked his wife, his family, his supporters and his friends Attorneys for their support over the past few years.
Previously, the public prosecutor's office had demanded Genditzki's acquittal in the retrial for the so-called Rottach-Egern bathtub murder. He had been in prison for the alleged crime for around 13 years. The state treasury is obliged to compensate Genditzki for this, says public prosecutor Michael Schönauer. He can't find "the right words".
"Did an act take place at all?" – That is the crucial question, says Schönauer. And this question cannot be answered unequivocally with yes. According to a biomechanical report, it is possible that the elderly woman, who is said to have been murdered by Genditzki earlier, simply fell into the tub, hit her head and drowned. According to a thermodynamic report, the old woman died with a very high probability well after the time assumed by the public prosecutor's office.
Genditzki, who worked as a caretaker in the residential complex of the dead, was sentenced to life imprisonment by the Munich II Regional Court in 2010. According to the conviction of the jury, the German hit the elderly woman on the head in October 2008 in her apartment in Rottach-Egern, Upper Bavaria, after a dispute and then drowned him in the bathtub.
He has always denied the allegations. The day of his arrest was the "day of his personal turning point" for Genditzki, says his lawyer Klaus Wittmann in his closing speech and demands - like his colleague Regina Rick - acquittal because of proven innocence and not just because: in case of doubt for the accused.
The defense attorneys are not satisfied with such an acquittal, one which is generally regarded as a second-class acquittal. "It is absolutely not justified to leave any flaws hanging on Mr. Genditzki," says Wittmann. The allegations are "nonsense, just nonsense". "He's innocent and I think that should be in the verdict."
Attorney Rick adds, "You convicted someone who had nothing against you and you created a reality that never existed." She sharply criticized the investigative authorities at the time: "The indictment was not only malicious, but also sloppy."
She does not believe that circumstantial evidence exonerating her client did not appear in the files by chance. "None of what is in the indictment has come true." Allegations in the indictment are not supported by evidence. For example, a quarrel was assumed as a motive. "This dispute has always been and is an invention of the judiciary," emphasizes Rick.
The judgment at that time became final after two revisions. After Genditzki's years of struggle, the case was finally reopened - which is extremely rare. In the new procedure, experts had now been heard who exonerated the man who had been imprisoned for years from the point of view of his defense and now also of the public prosecutor.
The process was "above all an expert process," says public prosecutor Schönauer. And these could have drawn on knowledge that did not exist in the previous two processes. Science has come a long way since then.
That's not enough of an explanation, say Genditzki's lawyers, who are demanding an apology from the authorities at Genditzki. "There is only one truth: it wasn't Mr. Genditzki," says Rick. "There is nothing against Mr. Genditzki."
The third thing that Genditzki wants to get rid of that day is his last sentence in the proceedings: "I would like to say I'm innocent. That's it." This Friday (July 7th) judge Elisabeth Ehrl wants to speak the verdict. She heads the same criminal court that initially did not want to resume the proceedings against Genditzki.