DOMRADIO.DE: Why have they been released now? It was said that nothing would happen.
Dirk Dietzel (lawyer and pastor at the Catholic prison visitation service on Mallorca): Ultimately, the boys have strengthened their team of lawyers again and brought in a very competent criminal lawyer from Barcelona, who is also at home in German. She reacted very quickly and efficiently, because the examining magistrate, who has been quite tough up to now, was not on site this week. In this way, she was able to take advantage of the fact that another judge had decided on a deputy basis.
But in any case, the burden still hangs over the boys, since they haven’t been acquitted, they’ve only been released on bail. There may be a negotiation. The process continues here. We still assume the presumption of innocence and as a lawyer I don’t think the evidence is sufficient for a conviction, but we have to wait and see.
DOMRADIO.DE: How did the boys cope with this imprisonment?
Dietzel: Of course it was a shock at first. They fell from one surprise to the next. The first thing was that they didn’t even know they were going to Mallorca. They didn’t know until the last moment, because the treasurer of the bowling club organized this trip together with the friends of the said bowling brothers as a surprise. The first downer of the trip was that the hotel wasn’t even ready when they arrived. That’s why the boys went somewhere for a drink. Then they came back to the hotel and a short time later the fire broke out.
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Since the boys are almost all firefighters, they got involved in fighting the fire and keeping the other hotel guests safe. As soon as the fire was out, the Guardia Civil came and first arrested them and then took them away. Then they spent the first night in a police jail on a bare concrete floor.
DOMRADIO.DE: How do you think the last two months have passed? What are they up to now? What’s on their minds now?
Dietzel: I think they worked on it very well in themselves and in the group. I mean the police were quick and the judge was very harsh. Two groups were left together so that they had the opportunity to communicate. The social workers in the prison are very good at assessing the extent to which concessions towards the inmates are possible.
We from the Prison Visiting Service had been working with the Consul, the Warden and the Head of Security of the prison from the beginning, who were very cooperative on these issues, so that we were able to visit the prisoners almost weekly. We sat together as a group in the training room and were able to talk to the boys very intensively.
DOMRADIO.DE: Let’s take a quick look into the future. Now it’s high season. Lots of men, women and young people fly towards Mallorca. What advice do you have for people abroad when you suddenly have the Guardia Civil behind you, who are arresting you, how should you behave?
Dietzel: In any case, stay calm and level-headed. If you are arrested as an individual, refuse to testify and seek assistance. Try to inform the consulate to get a list of German speaking lawyers. Otherwise you will be assigned a public defender who does not speak German. Then there is an interpreter who doesn’t necessarily speak the best German either. Things can get pretty messy like that. This is difficult to repair afterwards when you then have the opportunity to inform relatives and consult a knowledgeable lawyer.
A very important experience that another short-term prisoner gave us – a German who was imprisoned for half a year. At the end he said to us: “The most important thing for me was the humble experience of how important personal freedom is. I learned that during my stay here.”
So keep calm and look for contact persons, also for German-speaking fellow prisoners. We also have contact with our other regularly visited prisoners. Interestingly, they told us that the guys from Münster even helped them.
The interview was conducted by Oliver Kelch.
The original of this post “Bowling brothers tricked the tough judge to get out of Mallorca jail” comes from DOMRADIO.DE.