Craftsmen after riots in front of the Reichstag building in court

process because of "Storming of the Reichstag"

A 49-year-old stands in front of the judge in a room of the Moabit Criminal Court. Photo: Jörg Carstensen/dpa

© dpa-infocom GmbH

The protest against government measures against the corona pandemic drove thousands of people onto the streets in 2020. There were sometimes violent clashes between demonstrations and the police. The court in Berlin is dealing with a case.

Almost two years after riots at the Reichstag building, a man is on trial in Berlin who is said to have insulted and attacked police officers at the time. The public prosecutor accuses him of insult, attempted bodily harm and resistance and physical assault on law enforcement officials. On August 29, 2020, the 49-year-old belonged to a group of around 1,000 people who had gathered in front of the Reichstag building after a demonstration against corona measures. Some of them rushed onto the stairs of the Bundestag. The defendant is not accused of this.

The Tiergarten District Court issued a penalty order against the man in September 2021. After that, the self-employed craftsman should pay a fine of 1800 euros. However, the 49-year-old does not consider this to be justified and lodged an objection, so that the hearing was held on Friday.

“I was very upset. I was also very abusive in general,” the man admitted in court. He said it made him uncomfortable when he looked at the video footage of what happened and how he behaved. “I really had a big mouth.” However, the man denied assaulting police officers. “I’m not a thug,” said the father of two.

The man represents himself in court. He says he doesn’t have the money for a lawyer. As a self-employed craftsman, he “makes his way”. According to him, the 49-year-old was initially at a demonstration against government corona measures on the 17th June street on the day of the crime. He later moved to the Reichstag building with his girlfriend. You heard about what was happening on the stairs. “We were curious and ran there.”

A group of people and the police then faced each other in front of the Reichstag building. The mood was heated. The accused is said to have insulted one police officer among others as a “traitor to the people”. One of the police officers concerned had no concrete memories of this, derogatory remarks had been made. The officer reported that he gave the man several lateral blows. More police officers are now to be heard as the trial continues on July 8 (9:15 a.m.).

According to its own statements, the Berlin public prosecutor’s office has so far processed 85 proceedings in connection with the events of August 29, 2020. Because there was insufficient evidence or the perpetrators could not be identified, 51 proceedings were discontinued. In 9 cases, the authority had applied for a conviction by penal order. Three such cases have been finalized.