After this devastating fire in the Krefeld monkey house Last New Year’s Eve, according to the public prosecutor’s office, the three women who were accused each rejected a penalty order associated with “considerable fines”. The Krefeld public prosecutor’s office announced on Friday that this will probably lead to a court hearing.
Accordingly, the women are said to have committed negligent arson. They are accused of raising sky lanterns on New Year’s night. These are said to have triggered the fire in the monkey house of the Krefeld Zoo. Around 50 animals, including eight great apes, died in the fire. A seriously injured gorilla had to be shot by a police officer. The completely destroyed monkey house was torn down.
Krefeld monkey house: women now have to go to court
According to the public prosecutor’s office, orders against the women had already been successfully applied for at the Krefeld district court in July. Within the specified period, however, all three had rejected the penalty orders – which, according to the public prosecutor, would have been associated with heavy fines. As a result, a main hearing must be scheduled in front of the court in accordance with the Code of Criminal Procedure.
In the case of a penalty order, the competent local court determines a penalty at the request of the public prosecutor’s office, without there being a hearing. A penalty order can only impose fines and imprisonment sentences of up to one year on probation.
At the monkey house everything was in order under building law
According to their own statements, the Krefeld public prosecutor’s office has now rejected a press conference that had actually been planned on their investigation results next week. The taking of evidence in court should not be anticipated.
A spokesman for the public prosecutor’s office spoke to the German Press Agency on an important point on Friday: According to the investigation, everything was in order in terms of building law at the monkey house. Specifically, it was about plastic panes that were installed after a storm a few years ago. The question arose as to whether these disks were perhaps being used illegally – and could have accelerated the fire.
In the meantime, a new “Affenpark species protection center” is planned in Krefeld, for which the zoo is to be enlarged by an area of 4,000 square meters. The gorilla facility next to the monkey house has been open again for some time. Two chimpanzees who survived the fire injured live in the area. (dpa)