Trial at the regional court: hostage taking at Hamburg airport – trial against 35-year-old starts

Almost six months after the 18-hour hostage-taking at Hamburg airport, the trial against a 35-year-old begins on Monday at 10 a.

Trial at the regional court: hostage taking at Hamburg airport – trial against 35-year-old starts

Almost six months after the 18-hour hostage-taking at Hamburg airport, the trial against a 35-year-old begins on Monday at 10 a.m. He must answer before a large criminal chamber at the Hamburg regional court. The indictment accuses him of taking hostages, kidnapping minors, intentional bodily harm and various weapons offenses.

The 35-year-old is said to have kidnapped his four-year-old daughter from her mother's apartment in Stade, Lower Saxony, on the evening of November 4th last year. According to the indictment, he then drove with the child in a car to Hamburg airport. At the airport he broke through three barriers with the car and drove onto the apron. From there he used the police emergency number to request that a plane be made available to him to take him and his daughter to Turkey.

The defendant is said to have threatened to detonate an explosive belt. In order to emphasize his demand, he shot several times into the air with a semi-automatic pistol and threw two burning Molotov cocktails out of the vehicle. He is also said to have worn a dummy explosive belt and threatened to detonate the explosives if the police intervened. Due to the danger to the child, the police refrained from accessing the child. The background to the crime was a custody dispute with the child's mother. According to police, when his daughter was kidnapped from the Stade apartment of the mother, who has sole custody of the child, the man fired a pistol into the air.

According to the police, the hostage taker had stopped near a plane that was ready to take off and was full of passengers. The security forces evacuated these and all other machines. They then brought all the passengers from the airport to safety. It was only on Sunday afternoon, a good 18 hours after breaking into the airport apron, that the 35-year-old left the car with his daughter in his arms and allowed himself to be arrested without resistance. According to the public prosecutor's office, when he was arrested he was carrying a pistol loaded with a cartridge and the safety was off, as well as 22 rounds of ammunition, a knife and an irritant spray device.

Flight operations were interrupted for more than 20 hours. There were disruptions to air traffic far beyond Hamburg. Operations in Hamburg could only be resumed three hours after the hostage-taking ended. The police were deployed with more than 900 officers. She received support from colleagues from Bremen, Schleswig-Holstein, Brandenburg, Saxony-Anhalt, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Lower Saxony, North Rhine-Westphalia and from the federal police. The airport management announced that it would demand 500,000 euros in damages from the 35-year-old if he were to be legally convicted in the criminal trial.

The man had already been investigated in Stade in March 2022 on suspicion of abducting minors, and he was ultimately sentenced to a fine. At that time, according to the police, he had traveled to Turkey with his daughter without authorization. However, the child was able to be brought back to Germany by the mother. The criminal division has scheduled a total of ten hearing dates for the trial at the Hamburg Regional Court until June 20.

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