BREMEN TRIALS 2006 – 2013
- 2006 The Bremen Public Prosecutor’s Office brings charges against Igor V., an employee of the Medical Evidence Preservation Service. Accusation: negligent homicide.
- 2007 In the course of an out-of-court settlement, the City of Bremen pays 10,000 Euros to Laye Condé’s mother – compensation for pain and suffering that Mr. Condé himself would have been entitled to. The amount of the payment is based on the same amount that the ECHR awarded Abu Bakah Jalloh in 2006.
- 2008 The first emetic trial against the doctor begins at the Bremen Regional Court in the presence of Fatma Tarawalli, Laye Condé’s mother, and his brother Namantjan Condé. The trial ends with an acquittal of the defendant. Igor V. had committed “objective professional errors” that were “causal” for Laye Condé’s death. But Igor V. had been “overtaxed due to a lack of experience” and thus “far removed from the model of an experienced medical specialist to which case law is oriented as a standard for negligence offenses.” Ms. Tarawalli’s attorney files an appeal with the Federal Supreme Court (BGH).
- 2010 The BGH allows the appeal and refers the case back to the Bremen Regional Court. It suggests that other parties besides Igor V. might have to answer to the court and that the case should be assessed as bodily injury resulting in death (a more serious criminal offense).
- 2011 In March the second emetic trial begins, in June it ends again with the acquittal of the doctor. The reasoning now: the cause of death could not be clearly established – even though there was much to suggest that Laye Condé had drowned slowly. Ms. Tarawalli’s lawyer appeals to the Federal Supreme Court for the second time.
- 2012 The BGH again overturns the verdict of the Bremen Regional Court, calling it “fast grotesk falsch” (almost grotesquely wrong).
- 2013 In April, the third emetic trial begins. Months later, a responsible politician, the former mayor Scherf, is heard as a witness for the first time. He refers to the emetic distribution as “Beweissicherungsalltag” (“daily life evidence preservation”). In November, the trial is finally closed due to Igor V.’s inability to stand trial. The defendant must pay € 20,000 to Ms. Tarawalli.
- Since 2010, “the Laye Condé case” has been part of legal education at universities. The three “Bremer Brechmittelprozesse” (Bremen emetic trials) have written legal history – also because the appeal of the ancillary action in a criminal case was granted twice by the Federal Supreme Court (BGH). This is still unique in the Federal Republic of Germany.