Shortly after 10 a.m., public prosecutor Christian Kohle gets up, adjusts his reading glasses and goes to the lectern to read his plea. Judge Andreas Ziegel has just closed the hearing of evidence, and the proceedings for the theft of jewels in the "Green Vault" are now coming to an end. There will be sentences of several years in prison because four of the six Berlin defendants, all named Remmo, have confessed. Much of the jewelry has been returned, by whomever exactly. And yet, in his lecture, Kohle wrestles with the question of whether the state won in this process – or whether it allowed itself to be shown.
"By the end of November, the evidence wasn't overwhelming, but it would have been enough for a conviction. At the time, we would have applied for much higher penalties," says Kohle. Then, on December 21, his phone rang. The defenders wanted to make a deal and exchange the stolen goods for lighter penalties. “We asked ourselves: should we remain firm or show concessions,” coal looks back.
In the end, prosecutors accepted the offer. The prosecutor quotes the "Bild" newspaper, which commented on the agreement with the sentence "Welcome to the bazaar of justice".
If proof was needed that prosecutors and judges are by no means acting in a vacuum, but are observing very closely what is being written and broadcast about them, the prosecutor provided it this Friday. Because coal felt compelled to justify and justify the decision. He still doesn't seem really comfortable with the whole thing.
"Was it wrong morally or politically?" he asks rhetorically. "I don't know, but we had good reasons. Because the fact is that we still had no trace of the loot.” The investigators could have reconstructed the course of the crime and arrested the main suspects, but at no time did they know who hid the practically unsaleable jewels where – until today.
There are also severe penalties for the deal. “One can argue whether they are too lenient. We should be more humble, we shouldn't forget that it was by no means certain that the accused would be caught and that parts of the jewelry would be returned," says Kohle. Five or six years in prison is quite a long time. "I would go into the deal again." At times it seems as if the public prosecutor is giving a speech to the spectators in the hall of the Dresden Higher Regional Court or is addressing all of Saxony with explanations.
As on other days of the trial, relatives of the six accused gathered in the audience. Three young men are sitting there and a mother who has brought her four-year-old child with her. They greet the accused on the other side of the bulletproof glass pane that separates the courtroom from the spectators, smile and wink at them.
The deal was not the path of least resistance, on the contrary, Kohl continues: "Without the understanding, we would have been finished last year." However, since the defenders had insisted that questions must be submitted in writing beforehand, which the respective lawyers were answered after a consultation, it became "an agonizing question-and-answer game," says Kohle. "Some would have wished that there had never been a deal." Now, after 45 days of negotiations, the "procedural truth" is certain. Not the full clarification of a crime with all those involved in the crime. In German: There was nothing more in it.
In his closing speech, Kohl's colleague Christian Weber takes on the legal assessment of the crime and the contribution of those involved in the crime. He recapitulates the men's trips to Dresden, where they spied on the crime scene at night. He records how two Remmos escaped a night police check by racing through Dresden at more than 100 kilometers an hour and shaking off the police. He reports how the gauge house, in which the control boxes for the power supply of the residential palace are housed, was prepared with Molotov cocktails before the crime. And he describes the night when the men broke in, smashed the showcase and snatched the jewels away.
From a criminal point of view, the arson in the garage on Kötzschenbroder Strasse had the most serious impact. Because the perpetrators set fire to their getaway vehicle, an Audi A6 in the underground car park of a residential building. The fire caused smoke to rise up the stairwell into an apartment and a couple suffered from smoke inhalation. In total, the accused caused damage amounting to one million euros.
And yet the prosecutor's office is fighting for her indictment. Because she thinks Abdulmajed Remmo is also involved in the act – although the others exonerate him in their statements. There is "no reasonable doubt" that Abdulmajed is one of the two unknowns others spoke of, Weber said. This is also proven by the testimony of one of Abdulmajed's fellow prisoners from the prison. The accused then boasted about the crime and stated that he was there. How the judge sees it should be exciting - Abdulmajed has not entered into a deal and is therefore the only one where there could be a surprise when the verdict was announced.
According to Weber, the accused Achmed Remmo should be acquitted. He was in the hospital at the time of the crime, and there was no evidence that he was even indirectly involved, for example through planning.
Weber didn't bother to hide his contrition either. "The recovery would not have been expected without the actions of the accused," he said. That would have “obviously organized other participants or backers”. During the process, an expert emphasized the uniqueness and irreplaceability of the pieces of jewelry, says Weber. The prosecutors had little choice, that's what it means.
Eventually, the public prosecutor demanded long prison sentences for the accused. Wissam Remmo played a leading role, he developed the Tatplan, recruited Rabieh Remmo and was in Dresden on Tatnacht. While he was in the dock in Berlin for stealing the gold coin from the Bode Museum, he stole the jewels from the "Green Vault". He is to be jailed for a total of six years and eight months.
Rabieh Remmo joined later, but was the one who smashed the display case in the "Green Vault". According to the prosecutor's office, he too is to be imprisoned for six years and eight months.
Bashir Remmo boarded when the planning was complete. On the night of the crime, he climbed over the wall and took over the loot. Weber sees only a "minor role" in him and wants him sentenced to five years and 10 months in prison.
A youth penalty is required for the twins Abdulmajed and Mohammed. Mohammed Remmo pointed out the "Green Diamond" that the men wanted to stand first. The accused took over the stolen goods and set fire to the Audi in the underground car park. Weber demands four years and six months.
According to Weber, Abdulmajed Remmo also only played a minor role. He denies having been there but admits to having stolen burglary tools. Weber would like to see him in the correctional facility for six years.
What Weber thinks of the young Berliners who still have their lives ahead of them, he freely shares. They have the "urge for recognition, the urge to prove themselves in criminal circles," says Weber. He repeatedly emphasizes that they were concerned with "maximum profit" and the concealment of their identities, "at any price".
The verdict could fall on May 16th. Weber demanded that, after the announcement, the arrest warrants, with the exception of Abdulmajed, be “suspended” under reporting requirements. The thieves of the Saxon state treasury will first leave the court as free men before they are summoned to appear in prison. That's the deal.