2 min read
Inside the Alaa M. Trial #21: Did he say that...?

Inside the Alaa M. Trial #21: Did he say that...?

Higher Regional Court - Frankfurt, Germany

Trial Monitoring Summary #21

Hearing Dates: September 5-7, 2022

SJAC’s 21st trial monitoring report details days 30, 31 & 32 of the trial of Alaa M. in Frankfurt, Germany. The Court heard from two criminal investigators who were present during the police’s questioning of P4. The parties asked about the contradictions between P4’s in-court testimony and his statements to the police. Neither investigator ruled out that minor details might have been missed when P4’s statements were translated and transcribed. Additionally, the interpreter of P4’s statements to the police was questioned by the Court. He confirmed that his interpretation was not always a verbatim interpretation of what P4 said. All three witnesses confirmed that the transcript was thoroughly retranslated to P4.

CAUTION: Some testimony includes descriptions of torture.

Note that this summary is not a verbatim transcript of the trial; it is merely an unofficial summary of the proceedings.

Throughout this summary, [information located in brackets are notes from our trial monitor] and “information placed in quotes are statements made by the witness, judges or counsel.” The names and identifying information of witnesses have been redacted.


Day 30 – September 5, 2022

The Court heard from the criminal chief inspector who led the police’s questioning of P4. The investigator was asked about discrepancies between P4’s statement to the police and his in-court testimony. The investigator acknowledged the possibility that P4’s statements to the police were not in chronological order.

Day 31 – September 6, 2022

Another criminal investigator, who was present when P4’s statements to the police were transcribed, testified on this day. The parties questioned the investigator about discrepancies between P4’s in-court statements and the statements that were transcribed by the police. The investigator confirmed her colleague’s conclusion that P4’s statements were thoroughly transcribed.

Day 32 – September 8, 2022

On this day, the Court heard from the interpreter who was present during the questioning of P4 by the police. He repeated what was said by the previous two witnesses. He said, however, that the interpretation was not always done word-for-word and he sometimes summarized some of the paragraphs during the retranslation. The court interpreter was then called as a linguistic expert to review the translation of something in the police transcript.

Defense Counsel Endres read a statement that accused P4 of lying to the Court, pointing to the contradictions between P4’s statements to the police and his in-court testimony. According to Endres, P4 did not know the Accused in Syria and he adjusted his statements based on P1's statements. P4's counsel suggested that Endres’ statement was  insolent. The Prosecutors reserved their response for the following trial day.


For more information or to provide feedback, please contact SJAC at [email protected] and follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Subscribe to SJAC’s newsletter for updates on our work.