Audience members need a seat ticket

By our editor
jutta behr-groh

bamberg – the indictment against the former bamberg chief physician comprises 17 pages. The charges explain the unusually large number of media representatives and presumably also listeners for which the judicial authorities at wilhelmsplatz have been preparing for weeks: rape and sexual assault, dangerous bodily harm, and violation of the highly personal sphere through image recordings are alleged to have been committed by the almost 50-year-old physician.

Many victims were patients
According to the investigations of the public prosecutor's office, 13 women were the victims, most of them patients of the doctor.

Between 2008 and 2014, he is alleged to have exploited his position as the then head of the department of fab surgery at the bamberg hospital to act out his sexual desires and fantasies on defenseless and unsuspecting women. According to the investigation, he had administered a drug to all the victims before alleged examinations, which rendered the women will-less and incapable of acting.

Police have been investigating since summer
The scandal came to light in the summer of 2014 and made headlines far beyond the hospital's catchment area. Media interest in the public main hearing is correspondingly high. Representatives of no fewer than 24 newspapers, magazines, radio and television stations from all over germany and france have registered for the trial, according to leander brobler, press spokesman at the higher regional court (OLG) in bamberg.

As of today, the judiciary at wilhelmsplatz is facing the most sensational criminal trial in years; it is also suspected to be a record in terms of the number of people involved. The trial will be held in the so-called jury courtroom on the first floor. Courtroom 0.107 is not only the roomiest in the judicial building, but also the room in which the second criminal division of the regional court, which is responsible for the chief physician trial, regularly convenes.
In view of the unusually large number of people directly involved – in addition to the judges, the prosecutor's office, the court reporter, and the court watchdog, there are the defendant with three defenders, twelve additional defendants with seven lawyers and six experts – the seats have already been rearranged.
There are around 45 seats for the audience. If you want to get one of them, you need a seat ticket.

Visitors and media representatives were only allowed into the meeting room with a seat card or accreditation, the press office emphasizes.
Tickets for the audience will be sold on each day of the trial from 7 a.M.45 o'clock issued in front of the justice building at wilhelmsplatz.
The judicial authorities have already channeled the onslaught in this way in previous proceedings with a high level of public interest. The main aim is to prevent it from spreading inside the building, especially outside meeting room 0.107 comes to gedrange. The courtroom itself is opened half an hour before the start of each session, which is at 9 a.M. On all twelve days of the trial.

Bring time and patience
No special security precautions are to be taken during the biggest trial in recent bamberger judicial history.

All visitors will have to undergo the normal personal and bag checks at the main entrance. These may take some time.

Not consistently open
Professional trial observers and visitors will also need patience during the trial: the OLG spokespersons are preparing media representatives and listeners for the fact that they will have to leave the courtroom repeatedly. The second criminal chamber has indicated that, in consideration of the personal rights and privacy of all parties involved, it will exclude the public whenever it deems it necessary.
According to the timetable of presiding judge manfred schmidt, between the first day of trial (7. April) and the second (14. April), when the first of 50 witnesses will be called to testify, a week will pass.

According to this schedule, the verdict would have been for the 21. May to expect.
Whether the trial will be short or long depends largely on whether the accused makes a confession. So far, the medical doctor denies that the acts he is accused of and the photographs and film recordings made of them had any sexual background.

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