BERLIN – Halle attacker on trial

Nine months after what was termed the worst anti-Semitic attack in post-war German history, the trial of the alleged attacker, known in the German press as Stephan B., began on Tuesday (21 July). The suspect stands accused of killing two in a kebab shop in the eastern city of Halle after he had failed to get inside a synagogue, as well as 68 counts of attempted murder.

The trial is now taking place in the largest courtroom in the state to accommodate the large number of plaintiffs and media representatives.

EURACTIV media partner Deutsche Welle wrote that Stephan B. expressed “no remorse or emotion throughout the long cross-examination.”

In response to the court’s questioning, the defendant said that he had no friends and that he spent lots of time on the internet, and claimed he  was inspired by the March 2019 attack on two mosques in Christchurch in  New Zealand, while voicing racist, anti-Semitic, Islamophobic, and anti-immigrant slurs.

At one point, the judge even threatened to remove Stephan B. from the proceedings if his hate speech continued. The trial is slated to last 18 days, ending in October. If convicted, the accused will serve life in prison.

(Sarah Lawton | EURACTIV.de)

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