(SDA) On Monday morning the process began with questioning the 48-year-old man and the 47-year-old woman. Like the other residents of the six houses in Steckborn, they had lost their possessions by fire and had to be rescued by the fire brigade.
The prosecutor accuses them of unloading a lithium-polymer battery because it is used in making models. During the night it was overcrowded, then overheated and eventually burned, causing damage of around 12 million francs.
During the interrogation, the couple confirmed the process on essential points, as the charge had collected: the man received from a friend a model car with a charger. He took the battery out of the car to charge it. First the charger and the battery were in the kitchen, then the woman cleaned it and put it back in the closet in a socket. There the fire broke out later.
Fire in the old town of Steckborn
Like other chargers
The Dutch-speaking spouse said in court that he did not know the dangers of lithium polymer batteries. He used the device like other chargers, such as those for the phone. He does not think he has done something wrong. He did not know about warnings.
The woman said she had not thought about possible dangers. It was about a "toy car" away. Her husband could read badly. "Not at all in German," she said.
The prosecutor stated in his speech that the man had created a danger in which he brought the model car and the battery into the apartment. There are always reports in the media about the dangers that go with it. So for example before you travel through the air with the risk of explosion of rechargeable batteries.
After general life experience
Warnings were printed on the battery that were readable even after the fire. Among other things, the battery should not be left unattended when the charger is connected to the power.
To know the dangers, no individual knowledge or skills are needed, concluded the public prosecutor. For this, the general life experience is sufficient.
Similarly, the legal representatives of the 22 private prosecutors argued. It was a special battery that would normally be kept in a fireproof bag. The couple had missed it due diligence and had to anticipate the consequences.
The public prosecutor demanded a conditional fine of 30 daily rates of 30 francs and a fine of 600 francs for the man for negligent cause of a fire. For the woman he also demanded a conditional fine for the same offense: 10 daily rates of 30 francs and a fine of 300 francs.
The Prosecution has opened an alternative to their applications under Article 54 of the Penal Code: it is then possible to waive punishment if the perpetrators are so severely affected by the immediate consequences of a criminal offense that a punishment would be inappropriate .
The hearing will resume on Tuesday with the pleas of the defense.