Three siblings drowned in a village pond in the state of Hesse. The tragedy in Neukirchen (Hessen) in the summer of 2016 nationwide headlines. However, the question of guilt is not clarified, three years later, still. The eyes are for some time to the district court of Schwalmstadt. After much legal squabbling, the case will be heard there. The indictment is approved, the bankruptcy decision handed down. However, the process of appointments have to wait.

the Answer must be the mayor of Neukirchen, a 7000 inhabitants counting municipality between Marburg and Bad Hersfeld In the District of Hausen Seigert, the accident occurred on 18. June, 2016. Since then, for the city hall-chief Klemens Olbrich (CDU), nothing more, as it was. The 62-Year-old is accused of negligent homicide.

How the pond would need to be secured?

According to the Prosecutor’s office failed Olbrich as the person responsible for security measures, the pond as a potential source of risk to hedge and fencing. The authority believes that it is the town hall-chief was known that the area was used around the pond as a recreational and game area. For Olbrich the night of the tragedy was a shock. The events after work today. “It is distressing to me. The pictures are not of me go time of my life from the head,” he told the German press Agency.

Sad balance

drowning accidents over the weekend: at Least six people in lakes and rivers


drowned, and the Victims were the five, eight and nine-year-old children of a close family living. The eleven-year-old brother had been looking for his playing siblings in the evening and home want to get. When he saw the disaster, alerted he, neighbors and then the rescue workers. According to investigators, the five-year-old Boy and his eight year old sister could not swim. The nine-year-old could swim, he came in the dim, 40 meters wide and two meters deep pond, however, lost their lives. The German-Syrian family lost three of its at the time six children.

Since then, it comes to the question of guilt. It is the mayor, the public Prosecutor’s office adopted? Olbrich’s defender Karl-Christian Schelzke in the negative: “There are destinies for which there is no guilty party. In our fully comprehensive insurance mentality we take German, you could always find someone to blame.” He speaks of the “unfavorable circumstances” that had led to the death of the children.

Schelzke, formerly a senior Prosecutor in Frankfurt, formerly mayor in Mühlheim am Main and is currently the managing Director of the Hessian of cities and municipalities, says The mayor shouldn’t have to make the decision to fence the pond all alone. “This is a decision of the magistrate would have been required. Because of the pond for ages, but it is unlikely that the magistrate had agreed to.” In addition, there was never evidence that the pond is a hazard.

mayor of Neukirchen wants free saying

An important question for the process, to what kind of pond it is. Olbrich, a qualified lawyer, and for more than 25 years in office, spoke of a “fish pond” or “recreational pond”, the wouldnt a fence. Schelzke spoke of a “swimming pond”. For the prosecution it is a “fire water retention pond” – and for the backup duties would be passed, for which the mayor was responsible. For such a water reservoir for the fire brigade, there are rules. They included the provision that he must be surrounded by a 1.25-Meter-high fence.

As such a misfortune can have happened in many places, admits lawyer Schelzke the case of nationwide importance. “Many mayors are looking forward to the procedure and ask whether you are fencing, possibly better something, or should back up.” Because of the explosive nature of the Case, it is not enough Schelzke also, if his client somehow comes off lightly, for example with a setting of the procedure. According to the penal code, the punishment for negligent homicide is imprisonment for a term up to five years or to a monetary penalty. “We want an acquittal,” says Schelzke.

Jörn lighting the spark / DPA / wue