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Germany

Offices of Love Parade organizers and security firms searched

Prosecutors in the western German city of Duisburg have searched the offices of Love Parade organizer Rainer Schaller as well as two security firms, confirming an earlier media report.

Ralf Schaller

Schaller organized the Love Parade, where 21 people died

A spokesman for prosecutors in Duisburg, Detlef Nowotsch, said on Saturday the offices of the Love Parade organizer as well as two security firms were raided last week, but gave no further details.

Earlier on Saturday, German news magazine Der Spiegel reported that police had searched six offices in various locations across Germany to secure documents relating to the organization of the Love Parade music festival, where 21 people were crushed to death due to overcrowding.

According to the magazine, police also obtained personal details on those working for or at the event.

Negligent manslaughter

Prosecutors have opened an investigation into negligent manslaughter, but have not yet identified suspects.

Schaller, as well as police and local authorities, have been under fire for their handling of the festival. Duisburg Mayor Adolf Sauerland has refused to step down despite calls for his resignation.

Last Monday, more than 300 pages of documents containing details on the planning and organization of the Love Parade music festival appeared on the Internet, and the council was harshly criticized for trying to get an injunction against news portal xtranews.de to stop them being published.

According to Spiegel magazine, senior regional police officers had warned Schaller about the fact that the venue and, in particular, access to the venue was too small for the number of people expected to attend.

But, the report goes on to say that police were part of a working group, along with the organizers and councillors, which eventually approved the organizer's security concept.

Author: Nicole Goebel (dpa/AP)
Editor: Kyle James

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