Germany: Defence lawyer criticises court ruling convicting 5 men for Hamburg G20 riots

The lawyer of two of the five men convicted for Hamburg G20 riots, criticised the court ruling on Friday which found the five young men guilty on riot-related charges. While talking to the press in Hamburg, defence lawyer Gabriele Heineke said: “We think it was bad that they [defendants] were included into a construct in which each person who participated in this march could be punishable. They expressed that they didn't want this violence.” “The court only comes to this sentence because they assume that the Black Bloc is always violent. That is a false assumption. We heard an expert in this process, who said the Black Bloc is not always violent, there is some kind of threatening posture, but one cannot predict if it comes to violence or not,» she explained. «We have said they only indicted them because that's who you got, you didn't get others, it was an accident,» Heineke added. The defence lawyer also said that her clients are “no hooligans” but “very friendly, nice people who wanted to make a political impact.” A Hamburg district court found four German nationals and a French man guilty of riot related charges, after an 18-month-long trial, for their actions during the widespread protests during the 2017 G20 summit. The 24-year-old from France was sentenced to three years after he was found guilty of serious trespassing in the act of inciting arson, inflicting dangerous bodily harm and assaulting law enforcement officers. The four German nationals were given sentences varying between community service for two of them, 17-month sentence on probation and a suspended prison sentence of 15 months.

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