On the second day of the trial against the Halle assassin, the victim lawyers have the floor. The accused wants to continue using the trial as a stage.
MAGDEBURG taz | The second day of the trial for the right-wing extremist attack by Halle in the Magdeburg Regional Court begins punctually. After the open questions of judge Ursula Mertens gave the accused a lot of room to present his ideology on the first day of the trial, the questioning by the federal prosecutor and the 24 designated victim attorneys is scheduled for the second day of the trial.
First, the video is shown with which the perpetrator broadcast his actions on the Internet. It shows how he tried to get access to the synagogue in Halle on October 9th last year during the Jewish holiday Yom Kippur. When this failed, he shot passer-by Jana L. and kebab snack customer Kevin S. Several people were injured.
Some co-plaintiffs: inside the eyes close, some cry, others leave the room. “I would like to draw attention to the accused’s grin,” says one of the lawyers. The victims wish that the perpetrator is not given a stage in the media. Because that is his goal – with the video and the process.
Despite the video documentation, the victims and the federal prosecutor have many questions. Was it the intention that the offender hit a black man while fleeing? What about the attack on a couple who didn’t want to hand over their car to him? How did he radicalize? The co-plaintiffs want the crime to be placed in a context and explained how it got this far.
The accused wants to protect “his people”
Until 2015, he was “not so political” himself, the accused says. And even after that, he hardly spoke to people in real life about politics. In his family, he said nothing about racism and anti-Semitism. On the other hand, this is different. He did not want to say where exactly he had radicalized there in order to protect “his people”.
The victims’ lawyers Kristin Pietrzyk and Alexander Hoffmann insist that the accused answer their questions specifically. They do not want to give him room to put forward his crude theories. At the same time, Hoffmann tries to expose them: “When did a foreigner take your job away? You didn’t get the job you dreamed of, ”he asks. He says: “You didn’t do anything useful, but instead you say that foreigners take your jobs away.” The accused refuses to answer the lawyers’ questions.
Even before the victim lawyers ask questions in the afternoon, the defense questioned the accused. Unlike the previous day, the latter now claims that he did not know whether there were people in the synagogue. When Pietrzyk points this out, the defense makes an application to record the perpetrator’s statements.
Shortly after one, Judge Mertens announced the rejection of the application: “It is not the wording that matters, but the meaning of the application in the context of the accused’s testimony,” it says. None of this leaves any doubt about an intentional right-wing extremist terrorist attack. After the attack on the synagogue, he intended to attack a Muslim center or “other places”. The only thing that prevented him from doing this was the car tire that had been shot.
The accused admitted that the original plan was to attack a mosque later in the day. He laughs, cheerfully describes his actions, disguises his voice, jokes, lawyers: interrupts. He asks personal counter-questions and speaks of a struggle against Jews and Muslims. Was this over now? No comment.
The trial day is tough. The court is working on the ideological motivation of the perpetrator, the reconstruction of the crime and its preparation, a possible confidant: within the parents and details of the weapons they have built themselves. And it’s about the bigger question that Federal Attorney Lohse asked the perpetrator during the day as follows: “You will die one day. I will die one day. All who are here will die one day. Doesn’t it follow that we are all the same regardless of religion and skin color? “
The second day of the trial proves that such an admission cannot be expected from the ideologically established perpetrator. But it is precisely this question that the majority of those present want to reverberate.
Editor’s note: At the taz editorial conference on Wednesday, the question of whether the name of the perpetrator should be mentioned was discussed for a long time. Some argued for, others against the attribution. Some authors have named the perpetrator in their texts, and the author has not included this text. Something has started to move. The editorial team will consult with experts and those affected to find a general line for taz.