Mallorca: Here the “German pack” in prison gets a visit from the family

Just 40 minutes – that’s how long the relatives of the German vacationers who are currently in custody on Mallorca because of the allegation of gang rape had time to visit the five young men in Mallorca prison. On Sunday afternoon, the group, which had arrived from Dortmund Airport the day before, was allowed to use the prison’s official visiting hours.

The five suspects between the ages of 21 and 23 are said to have raped an 18-year-old from Hanover in a hotel on Playa de Palma on the night of July 13. After their arrest by the police, the German vacationers were taken into custody by an investigating judge, together with a sixth man, who has since been released.

There, the men from the Märkisch district now have to wait for further investigations into the case. The judge refused an early release on bail.

Five Germans are in the Mallorca prison with 1,200 prisoners from 50 countries

All five suspects are held together in wing 10 of the prison in Palma. More than 1,200 prisoners from around 50 countries are serving out their sentences with the young men in 14 modules or, like the five German vacationers, are waiting in custody for their trials or further hearings.

In addition, the modern prison has an infirmary, an area for newcomers and another area for prisoners who are classified as dangerous and are therefore at least temporarily in solitary confinement. Around 500 correctional officers take care of the inmates.

The five young men from NRW, like the other prisoners, are only allowed to receive visitors once a week. Exceptions are only available on request, since the Spanish regulations are tough and much stricter than in Germany. And so parents, sisters, brothers and other relatives traveled especially for the short time in which they could see the young men from the Märkisch district behind bars for the first time.

Relatives drove up to Palma with travel bags and backpacks

The group pulled up in two taxis on Sunday afternoon to the Centro Penitenciario de Mallorca, the large prison complex right on Palma’s ring road. They had travel bags and backpacks with them. What they brought back to the young men behind bars, however, remained their secret. No one in the group wanted to comment.

As a rule, relatives are allowed to bring fresh clothes, things for everyday use and the like for the inmates. They are also allowed to give inmates money so that they can top up their phone or buy food.

However, the relatives and the inmates hardly have any opportunities for longer, personal conversations during the short visiting hours. The rules of the Spanish justice system only allow for brief conversations during the 40-minute visitation center at the state prison.

After 40 minutes, the affected visitors get back into their taxis

And the clock is ticking the same for all visitors to the prison: after 40 minutes it’s time to say goodbye. Because then the set visiting time for the next inmates begins. The prison officials will not allow any delays in this strictly timed schedule. And so, after the visiting hours, the group from Germany, visibly touched and affected, got back into their taxis and left the prison grounds.

It is currently unclear how long the 21 to 23-year-old men will remain in custody. As can be learned from the environment, the lawyers are still trying to get another hearing date before the investigating judge in the coming week. Their hope is to get the five suspects released on bail before August at least. Because that’s when the official holidays in Mallorca begin – and the judiciary also takes a break for four weeks. Only in very exceptional cases would a judge deal with the case again during this time.

And so the relatives have no choice but to come back in a week. They then have 40 minutes to see their sons and brothers again behind bars in Mallorca prison.

Jean Harris

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