Hundreds of clues: how Cologne police try to identify criminals


The investigation team of the Cologne police is currently trying to find out the reasons for the riots in Nice. Authorities are investigating the following questions: How many violent criminals from Cologne were involved in the riots? What kind of men are they? who did what To that end, the police activated an information portal where witnesses can upload photos and videos from the Allianz Riviera stadium. “Right now it’s all about gathering material,” says senior prosecutor Ulf Willuhn.

Cologne police are evaluating cases and witness statements

A police spokesman reports that more than 200 tips have already been received. The investigative team is currently evaluating more than 500 files – photos and video clips – as well as numerous witness statements. Given the ongoing investigation, the spokesman did not want to say whether individual criminals have already been identified. If the suspects are found ahead of 1. FC Köln’s Conference League home match against 1. FC Slovacko on Thursday, it is possible that the police will visit the individuals concerned and explain to them in so-called dangerous language that they are a screen – regardless of the threat of criminal proceedings.

Although the incidents took place in France, the perpetrators can still be charged in Germany – provided they are German citizens. The Code of Criminal Procedure allows this, German investigators would only have to agree with their French counterparts on this procedure. It is likely to happen. The main offenses are gross breach of the peace, causing bodily harm and breaches of the Explosives Act.

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Based on photographs, films and eyewitness accounts, it should now be possible to identify those involved in the riots and assign them to specific crimes. Many of the rioters were masked, but there are also a number of videos circulating online showing men without balaclavas or other masks. Many are likely to be known to so-called police officers familiar with the scene, for example because they have already been investigated.



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