In the trial of the attack in Halle, the defendant put forward crude conspiracy theories in his last statement before the court. His lawyer had previously called for him to be given a “just punishment”.

The defendant in the trial of the right-wing terrorist attack in Halle broke off his final lecture after a few minutes. In his last words, the man again denied the Holocaust on Wednesday before the Higher Regional Court (OLG) Naumburg after about three minutes of his lecture. Lawyers of the secondary prosecutor’s office immediately protested loudly, the president of the court Ursula Mertens interrupted the suspect. “This is a criminal offense, he has to sit down again,” shouted lawyer Alexander Hoffmann, attorney at court.

“I explained that to you, you should not repeat that,” Mertens said to the defendant, who had already denied the Holocaust several times. The defendant then cut off his presentation. He had already denied the Holocaust at trial. Mertens interrupted the hearing and again gave the defendant the opportunity to have one last word, but he refused to speak.

In the part of his last lecture, he had again presented crude anti-Semitic, racist and anti-feminist conspiracy stories and described the trial against him as a show trial.

Defense attorney: attack on synagogue, not attempted murder

His defense had previously called for a “fair judgment”. However, lawyer Hans-Dieter Weber did not call for a specific punishment in his plea. The lawyer admitted that the deadly shots that the hitman made on Jana L. and Kevin S. amount to murder.

The attack on the synagogue, contrary to what the federal prosecutor has demanded, should not be viewed as attempted murder. Weber said the defendant had resigned himself to attempting to storm the synagogue. In addition, the psychiatric report showed that the suspect had serious psychological problems. That reduces responsibility. The psychiatric expert had indeed found psychological problems in the suspect, but he found him completely culpable.

Weber introduced his plea with very personal words. The mandate was the most difficult of his career. At the start of his lecture, the lawyer praised the statements of the relatives and survivors of the attack. Above all, the testimony of a rabbi who had been in the synagogue and Kevin S.’s father touched him deeply. “I offer my deepest condolences to him and to all other victims and family members.”

Attempt to get to the synagogue door was unsuccessful

On October 9, 2019, a terrorist attempted to kill 51 people celebrating Yom Kippur, the highest Jewish holiday in the synagogue in Halle. He failed at the massive door, then shot the passerby Jana L. and later in a kebab shop Kevin S. In the ensuing escape, he injured other people. The trial has been running since July at the Higher Regional Court (OLG) Naumburg, but due to lack of space, it is taking place in Magdeburg.

28-year-old German Stephan Balliet confessed to the crimes and justified them with anti-Semitic, racist and anti-feminist conspiracy theories. The federal prosecutor’s office is calling for a life sentence with subsequent preventive detention and the determination of the special gravity of the guilt, the secondary prosecutor backed the claim. The court expects the verdict on December 21.

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