Verdict against Eintracht fan: fine after throwing a chair

Sitting in the dock of the Bad Homburg district court is a man about whom many Eintracht fans would say: He’s not one of us. Because the accusation against the Bad Homburger casts a bad light on the Frankfurt football scene, on German fans, and on Germans in general. It’s about the Europa League final against Glasgow Rangers almost two years ago. The important question in the courtroom on Thursday is whether the defendant was part of a group of ultras and hooligans who attacked Glasgow Rangers fans in cafes before the game in Seville. The 39-year-old man is said to have kicked and thrown chairs in the direction of a Scotsman.

There are videos from May 19, 2022 in which the defendant could be seen. His lawyer printed out screenshots. His client doesn’t recognize himself, he says. Besides, not much happens in the films anyway: “Chairs just fly back and forth.” The Scots were also provocative and approached Eintracht fans with parasols as protective shields. The person who was supposed to be his client moved a chair from an intersection to where it belonged: a café. This is not a crime, especially since the films show a bus that honks and wants to drive through. The representative of the public prosecutor’s office sees it differently: “He throws him into the middle of the crowd.”

Lack of insight on the part of the defendant

Two police officers have been invited as witnesses. The first says that he and his colleagues followed a group of ultras and hooligans on the march to the stadium that had split off from the other fans. He saw the defendant from the police vehicle. He knew him from previous games – as part of a group that was “worth watching”. The defendant stood up in front of a Scot, signaled his willingness to fight in a boxing position – and kicked. He doesn’t know whether he scored. The man also threw a chair towards the Scots.

Only then did things really get down to business. Violent people from Frankfurt, some wearing masks, stormed towards the Scots. In this situation he no longer saw the defendant, but later recognized him because of his clothing in the videos: the man threw another chair and did not distance himself from the group. In previous games, however, he was not at the forefront.

The second police officer reports that his colleague showed him the defendant, but he did not know him. There were “normal Glasgow Rangers fans” sitting in the cafes, including women and older people. The aggression did not come from them. It looked like a battlefield.

Difficult to prove assault

The judge is considering hearing a third police officer as a witness at another hearing. There is also the possibility of clarifying with an expert whether the defendant can be seen on the videos. According to the public prosecutor, attempted bodily harm would be difficult to prove. She limits the accusation to breach of the peace, which does not carry a prison sentence, and demands a fine of 85 daily rates.

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The lawyer pleads for acquittal. The defendant says he is not aware of any guilt in having committed a crime. He is the only one who will be pulled out of a group of a few hundred people and brought to justice. The judge says there are definitely some that are much worse. Nevertheless, it should be condemned if someone from a crowd takes part in violence – also because of the external impact. The man receives 50 daily rates.


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