The defendant’s last words await trial in Halle | Free press

Magdeburg (dpa) – The defendant is expected to speak one last time in the trial of the right-wing terrorist attack in Halle.

The 28-year-old had confessed and justified the attack at the start of the trial before the higher regional court (OLG) Naumburg with crude anti-Semitic, racist and anti-feminist conspiracy theories. The man had shown no sign of remorse.

Many of the survivors have joined the secondary prosecution and are planning to come on Wednesday, the 25th day of the trial, when the defense gives their final talk and the defendant gets his last word. Many had described the defendant’s confession as an unacceptable imposition.

On October 9, 2019, a terrorist attempted to murder 51 people celebrating Yom Kippur, the highest Jewish holiday in the Halle synagogue. 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 for OLG Naumburg since July, but is taking place in Magdeburg due to lack of space.

28-year-old German Stephan Balliet from the Mansfeld-S├╝dharz district is being charged. The federal prosecutor’s office is demanding a life sentence with subsequent protective custody and the determination of the special gravity of the guilt. The co-lawsuit unanimously backed this claim.

For three days, the 23 lawyers pleaded for the additional prosecution, which consists of the next of kin and survivors. Several survivors had their own opinions and, as in their interviews as witnesses, had given a deep personal and emotional account of the day of the attack and the troubled times since then.

On Tuesday, several survivors from the synagogue made their own plea and warned against anti-Semitism in Germany. “Germany has a problem of anti-Semitism and racism,” warned philosopher Christina Feist, who had previously spoken in court, as well as at numerous meetings and in the press about the attack and the trial.

Too often people in Germany looked the other way and did nothing when they witnessed anti-Semitic attacks. “It cannot continue like this and therefore silence is not an option,” said Feist.

Another survivor reported anti-Semitic animosity she endured as a child in Lower Saxony. A survivor of the kebab shop, Conrad R., had his lawyer read a statement on Tuesday that he could not appear in court for psychological reasons. R. addressed the defendant directly in his speech: “You must not be part of our society,” he said to the defendant, “we exclude you.”

On the day of the crime, R. had lunch with his colleague Kevin S. at the kebab shop and was only able to escape because the killer’s gun got stuck. According to his lawyer, husband and father R. are seriously traumatized by the attack and he is struggling with panic attacks and feelings of guilt.

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