Case dropped against 7 in German Love Parade trial

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Seven out of 10 defendants in the Love Parade trial were dismissed from the criminal proceedings without a sentence, the Duisburg regional court announced on Wednesday.

The trial for the remaining three defendants, who declined an offer to end the proceedings for a fine of about 10,000 euros (11,400 U.S. dollars), will continue.

Attorneys and relatives of victims have criticized the decision and argued that there was public interest in clarifying the tragic event at the techno music festival in July 2010.

"The trial days so far have shown how difficult the search for causal, individual guilt is," said Duisburg´s Mayor Soeren Link. "I also understand, however, when the relatives of the victims and the people who were injured and traumatized at the Love Parade are disappointed," Link added.

Twenty-one people died in an overcrowded area at the Love Parade in Duisburg and more than 650 were injured in the mass panic. Among other things, all the defendants had been accused of negligent homicide and negligent assault.

Julius Reiter, an attorney representing some of the victims, told the German radio station Deutschlandfunk that it was "unsatisfactory that no responsible person should be called to account," and added that "we cannot do without the truth, we can rather do without punishment."

The seven defendants for whom the trial ended Wednesday had already agreed to the dismissal of the case Tuesday. Six of them are employees of the city of Duisburg and one is an employee of the event's organizer, Lopavent.

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