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Trial against weatherman Kachelmann postponed

DDP/DPA/The Local · 6 Sep 2010, 10:21

Published: 06 Sep 2010 09:00 GMT+02:00
Updated: 06 Sep 2010 10:21 GMT+02:00

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The Swiss-born weather expert faces up to 15 years in prison if he is found guilty of charges he denies.

"Mr. Kachelmann requested recusal because there are concerns that the two judges in question will not face him with the necessary impartiality," said defence attorney Reinhard Birkenstock.

The case will now resume on September 13 after the suitability of the judges is determined.

Some 25 witnesses have been called to testify before the court in the southwestern state of Baden-Württemberg, among them “various female witnesses from the circle around the accused” and five experts, according to prosecutors.

Kachelmann was arrested at the Frankfurt airport on March 20, 2010 and held on remand for four months until late July. A Mannheim court had said they had insufficient evidence to continue holding him.

The alleged victim, Kachelmann’s girlfriend, was the sole prosecution witness and the case was therefore “her word against his,” the court said.

Story continues below…

It could not be ruled out that she had made false accusations, nor that she herself caused the injuries she claimed to have suffered during the rape, the court said.

A verdict in the trial is expected at the end of October.

DDP/DPA/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

10:58 September 6, 2010 by pepsionice
There is a belief that he's totally innocent and he was going to "dump" the girlfriend. It's going to be awful hard to establish facts if no witnesses exist.
11:09 September 6, 2010 by Prufrock2010
Dreadful "reporting." It would be nice if the article mentioned the grounds upon which Kachelmann is seeking the recusal of two judges. Could it be, as this article suggests, that the court has already determined in advance of the trial that there was a rape? If so, that would be grounds for recusal. I guess we'll have to find this information elsewhere.
13:56 September 6, 2010 by Portnoy
Uh, pruf, you have trouble reading past paragraph 2 or what?

"Mr. Kachelmann requested recusal because there are concerns that the two judges in question will not face him with the necessary impartiality," said defence attorney Reinhard Birkenstock.
18:16 September 6, 2010 by Prufrock2010
Uh, portnoy, I had no trouble reading paragraph 2. That statement happens to be what's called in the legal profession "conclusory," not factual. The boilerplate allegation that a judge or judges might not be impartial requires more than a defendant's "concerns" to get judges recused. It requires a showing of facts to support that conclusion. The facts upon which Kachelmann bases his concerns are omitted from the article, hence my previous comment. I suspect that if indeed the court referred to the alleged rape as a fait accompli, that would imply that the judges had already decided in their minds, without benefit of hearing all the evidence, the most important element of the defense; i.e., whether or not a rape in fact occurred. If so, they should be recused. A competent reporter would have addressed the factual basis for Kachelmann's motion.
18:41 September 6, 2010 by Portnoy
Did you not read the second graf?

"Mr. Kachelmann requested recusal because there are concerns that the two judges in question will not face him with the necessary impartiality," said defence attorney Reinhard Birkenstock.
19:42 September 6, 2010 by Prufrock2010
I read it and addressed it in my previous post. I've had many judges recused over the years. I've had some motions to recuse fail. Conclusory allegations of lack of impartiality don't suffice where I come from unless it is a peremptory challenge that is made immediately after the judge is assigned and before the judge decides any issue in the case. Maybe German law has different requirements for recusal, I don't know. Maybe a litigant gets to play judicial roulette in the German court system.
00:01 September 10, 2010 by wxman
Geeez, all we wanted was a forecast! Violence has no place in meteorology.
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