Terrorist Trial at the Hanseatic High Court

Terrorist Trial at the Hanseatic High Court

(29.07.2004) The 3rd High Criminal Senate of the Hanseatic High Court (Hanseatisches Oberlandesgericht) had sentenced the Moroccan national Mounir El Motassadeq to fifteen years imprisonment for accessory to murder in 3,066 cases, to attempted murder and dangerous physical injuries in five cases and membership of a terrorist organisation in connection with the 9/11 attacks on the United States of America.

The Federal Criminal Court (Bundesgerichtshof), acting on an appeal from the convicted man, reversed the conviction and referred the case back to a new High Criminal Senate of the Hanseatic High Court for a new trial and decision. The 4th High Criminal Senate of the Hanseatic High Court is now in charge of the case.

The trial will start on

Tuesday, August 10th , 2004at 9.00 a.m.,

in Strafjustizgebäude, courtroom 237,

Sievekingplatz 3, D - 20355 Hamburg.

We are well aware that this second trial of a suspect accused of being involved in the events leading up to the September 11 terror attacks on the USAtwo years ago will again attract considerable public and media interest world-wide. Due to a general lack of room in the court-house, public access to the courtroom will have to be restricted.

However, we will make every effort to ensure a thorough media coverage of the trial. We have chosen courtroom 237 for it offers the largest auditorium and, therefore, the largest number of press seats within the court-house. The allocation of seats will be done according to the following conditions.

We appreciate a full co-operation of the journalists with these conditions and a fair collaboration among the journalists that we experienced in the past.

 

1.         Dates of court hearing

The first main court hearing will begin on

on Tuesday, August 10th, 2004, at 9.00 a.m.

in the Criminal Court-House (Strafjustizgebäude)

of the Hanseatic High Court (Hanseatisches Oberlandesgericht)

Sievekingplatz 3, D - 20355 Hamburg.

Subsequent court hearings have been set for 9.00 a.m. in courtroom 237 on the following dates:

2004

August:           11., 17., 18., 24., 25., 31.,

September:   1., 7., 8., 14., 15., 21., 22., 28., 29.,

October:         26., 27.,

November:     2., 3., 9., 10., 16., 17., 23., 24., 30.,

December:    1., 7., 8., 14., 15., 21., 22., 28., 29.,

2005

January:         4., 5.

and after that on all subsequent Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

As an exception, the hearings might take place in courtroom 288 of the Criminal Court House.

2.         Security instructions issued by the Chairman

Chairman of the 4th High Criminal Senate of the Hanseatic High Court, Dr. Ernst-Rainer Schudt, has issued the following orders (printed in italics) regarding the presence of media at the trial under sec. 176 of Judicature Act (Gerichtsverfassungsgesetz), in order to insure an orderly and secure course of the trial:

Special passes

 

”Against presentation of a special pass issued by the Court Press Department (red for journalists of media resident in Hamburg, blue for journalists of other media elsewhere resident in Germany, yellow for journalists from media resident abroad) and a valid identity card/passport, journalists (print or audiovisual media) will be granted access through a steel door marked 237 or 288 respectively, to be reached through the main entrance of Strafjustizgebäude, subject to seating being avail­able on seats allocated to the press.

 

The special pass for journalists in the court trial 2 BJs 88/01-5 will be issued by the Court Press Department against the presentation of a valid press card and a valid ID card. One pass only will be issued per newspaper/journal, radio or TV channel.”

N.B.

 

Special passes will only be issued by the Court Press Department (Gerichtspressestelle)  

§         on individual application in person                  and

§         against presentation of a valid press card and a valid ID-card or passport.

Applications with all the relevant documents have to be submitted to the Court Press Department at the Hanseatic High Court, room 232 (Oberlandesgerichtsgebäude), Sievekingplatz 2, Hamburg,

either              from 02 till 06 August

or                    on 09 August

between 10.00 and 12.00 a.m. or between 1.00 and 2.30 p.m.

Foreign journalists may also apply for the issue of special passes on 10 August from 7.30 till 9.00 a.m.at the entrance to the 2nd floor towards steel door 237 in the Criminal Court-House (Strafjustizgebäude), Sievekingplatz 3.

A special pass, issued for each accredited newspaper/journal, radio or TV channel exclusively, may bear the names of more than one person. Each of those persons listed will need to appear in person, but not necessarily at the same time with the other registered individuals, at the Court Press Department and to show his/her valid press card and identity card/passport. However, such a multi-person special pass will not entitle all but only one of the journalists listed in that pass to take a free seat.

Special passes issued earlier regarding the court trial of the 3rd High Criminal Senate are not valid for the new court trial of the 4th High Criminal Senate starting on 10 August 2004.

Press seats, access

 

“In courtroom 237, 15 seats will be available for journalists of media resident in Hamburg (red special pass), 30 seats for journalists of media resident in any other area of Germany (blue special pass) and 40 seats for journalists of media resident abroad (yellow special pass), which will be allocated in chronological order of appearance in person on the day of the court hearing (“first come first serve”). For any journalist leaving the courtroom, no seat will be reserved.

 

Courtroom 288offers only 10 seats for journalists altogether, which will be allocated likewise in chronological order of appearance in person on the day of the court hearing (“first come first serve”).

 

In both courtrooms, exit from the auditorium will only be possible through the secondary entrance “Wallanlagen”.

 

The media checkpoint for will open each time 30 minutes prior to the commencement of the court hearing and prior to the end of the lunch break.”

 

N.B.

Seats, remaining free in one of the quotas (red, blue, or yellow), may be taken by journalists classified as belonging to other quotas (e.g., a free seat having been allocated to media resident in Hamburg [red special pass] may be used by a journalist with a blue or yellow special pass).

Journalist may also take any of the +/- 40 seats available in the section for the general public as long as those seats are still available. However, this part of the auditorium is not accessible through steel doors 237 and 288 (to be reached via the main entrance), but only via the secondary entrance ”Wallanlagen”, located on the right-hand side of Strafjustizgebäude.

Mobile telephones, laptop computers, typewriters

 

”Laptop computers, typewriters and mobile phones are not allowed in the auditorium.”

N.B.

Mobile telephones and laptop computers may not be brought into Strafjustizgebäude. The President of Hamburg District Court (Landgericht), who holds the domiciliary right, has given orders that mobile phones and laptop computers must be left with the security guards at the main entrance to the Criminal Court-house (Strafjustizgebäude).

Owing to the orders by the Chairman of the 4th High Criminal Senate, that the auditorium of both courtrooms may not be left on the original route through steel doors 237 or 288, but only through the secondary entrance ”Wallanla­gen”, one needs to re-enter the building via the main entrance for collecting of those devices stored at the security checkpoint; this requires a new security check.

For this reason, and considering the potentially substantial number of people queuing in front of the security checkpoint, we recommend to leave mobile phones and laptop computers outside the building altogether.

Tape recording, photographing, and filming inside the courtroom –

Pool solution

 

“Photo, film cameras, or tape recorders must not be taken into the courtroom.

 

However, on the demand of the media, photographing, and filming inside the courtroom will be allowed according to the following conditions:

 

Two press photographers and one camera team, comprising of no more than three persons, will be admitted as pool leaders subject to a written commitment to share their entire unedited photographic material with other competing journalists without delay and free of charge. The pool leaders will have to submit a written declaration about their commitment to the Court Press Department before 2.00 p.m.on the working day preceding the day of the relevant court hearing.

 

Nomination of pool leaders shall be left up to an understanding among newspapers/journals, TV or radio channels concerned with the audiovisual coverage of the trial.

The press photographers and the camera team are allowed to take pictures for five minutes prior to commencement of every court.

Apart from this, no photographing, filming and sound recording will be allowed in the court­room and in the anteroom to the courtroom.

 

Journalists, press photographers and the camera team must not interview or interact in any other interview-like manner  the parties in the court room.”

N.B.

 

Pool leadersshall be notified to the Court Press Department by 2.00 p.m. on the working day pre­ceding the day of the relevant court hearing by fax (+49 - 40 - 428 43 4183) or e-mail (pressestelle@olg.justiz.hamburg.de). In addition to the pledge referred to above, the press department must be notified of the telephone and fax numbers and the time from when recordings may be requested for from the pool leaders.

Broadcasting stations, media, or agencies not meeting the set technical prerequisites cannot be a pool leader.

3.         Tape, photographic and film recordings outside the courtroom

Any sound, photographic and film recordings outside the courtroom and the associated ante­room shall be subject to grant of a photographing and/or filming permit within the building. Permits may only be granted personally against presentation of a valid press card and a valid ID-card/passport by the “Leitstelle Hausrecht” (telephone +49 - 40 - 42843 2201) in room 370 of Strafjustizgebäude, Sievekingplatz 3; in order reduce wait, permit can be applied for from Wednesday, 04 August 2004, on working days between 8.00 a.m. and 2.30 p.m.

Recording equipment may only be taken into the building through the main entrance and security checks after a permit has been granted.

The police will keep parking spaces available for mobile broadcast units during the first day of the court hearing.

4. Pressroom

A press room will be open for journalist at the building of the Hanseatic High Court (Oberlandesgerichtsgebäude), Sievekingplatz 2. The press room will either be arranged for in the Plenary Room on the 1st floor (room 201) or in another specified room and will comprise of workstations and four ISDN telephone connections. Mobile telephones and laptop computers may be brought into this room and used there.

We regret, that the lack of rooms within Strafjustizgebäude forbids to install a pressroom.