A German court on Tuesday proposed ending a criminal trial resulting from a fatal mass panic at the 2010 Love Parade techno music festival, citing questions over when the proceedings could resume in light of the coronavirus pandemic.
German news agency dpa reported that the Duisburg state court suggested closing the trial in which three of the original 10 defendants face charges that include involuntary manslaughter and bodily harm. They were accused of planning failures and not monitoring security properly at the event where 21 people died.
The court gave the parties in the case until April 20 to respond to the proposal. If they accept it, the trial would end without a verdict, and the statute of limitations on the charges expires in July.
The trial opened in 2017 in Duisburg, a city in western Germany where the festival took place. Prosecutors last year dropped their case against seven of the defendants; the three still on trial worked for event organizer Lopavent remain on trial.
In its proposal, the court said that because of the pandemic, it wasn’t possible to foresee when and how the trial could resume.
The last trial session was held March 4. The next is scheduled for April 21, but it now is unclear if it will take place.
Germany recorded more than 100,000 confirmed virus cases as of Tuesday.