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Thursday 15, February

Görlitzer Park rape trial on the brink of collapse

Three men are on trial for the alleged rape in Görlitzer Park, but the case is likely to collapse unless the victim agrees to give testimony before the court.

Photo: IMAGO / Olaf Wagner

Thursday 15, February

Görlitzer Park rape case on the brink of collapse, but will the suspects be released?

When shocking reports of a violent gang rape in Görlitzer Park made headlines last summer, politicians were quick to use the crime as evidence for the need for greater security measures in the area. Now, it seems, the case that began those discussions is on the verge of either collapsing or being suspended for six months, after the victim – and crucial witness – refused to travel from her native country of Georgia to Berlin to give a statement before the court. Defence lawyers are now pushing for the release of three detained suspects who have been in police custody for the last seven months.

The crime allegedly occurred around 5:00 a.m. on June 21, when the victim and her husband went into the park, bought cocaine and became intimate with each other. The case hinges on what happened next. According to the victim’s statements, several dealers surrounded the couple, beat the man with sticks, stole €1,200 from his bag and then raped her.

The defence claims that while sex did take place, it was consensual. At the start of the trial, a seven second video filmed on on of the defendant’s phone was brought into evidence, which defence lawyers argue backs up their version of events.

Despite all this, the trial is unlikely to continue unless the victim agrees to give testimony. According to reporting in Tagesspiegel, the victim’s lawyer Roland Weber is “deeply convinced” that a crime did take place in the park but also stated that, unless his client was able to be questioned by the court, an acquittal was “almost mandatory”.