With strict security measures, the trial for the October 2019 attack on the Halle Synagogue in eastern Germany opened in Magdeburg on Tuesday, July 21 . Defendant Stefan B. (Stephan B.) is charged with the murder of two men and attempted murder of 68 people, causing dangerous bodily harm and inciting ethnic hatred.
The trial, which is being conducted by the Higher Land Court in Naumburg, will be held on the premises of the District Court in Magdeburg due to increased security measures and high media attention. Three armed justice officials, fully uniformed and in camera, led the defendant into the room, handcuffed and shackled on his feet. The first session began with the reading of the indictment.
The 28-year-old German was charged with planning and attacking the synagogue on the basis of “anti-Semitic, racist and xenophobic beliefs”. In addition, he is accused of grave extortion through violence and incitement to ethnic hatred.
He faces life imprisonment without pardon.
The assailant pleaded guilty but did not repent.
Earlier it was reported that Stefan B. fully admitted his guilt in the attack on the synagogue. At the same time, during his interrogations, he expressed regret that he was not able to kill more people, especially migrants and Jews, saying that for his racist and right-wing extremist beliefs, he sought support on the Internet by contacting like-minded people, mostly from the United States.
On October 9, 2019, Stefan B. tried to break into a synagogue in Halle-on-Saale with a gun in his hand during the Jewish Yom Kippur holiday and kill the people gathered there. When he failed, he shot a woman in the street and then a man in a Turkish diner. When he tried to hide, the intruder seriously injured two other people. On the same day, he was detained and placed in pretrial detention.
According to the Federal Prosecutor’s Office, the defendant attempted to damage Germany’s reputation on the world stage through his actions. Apparently, he acted alone. According to media reports, the suspect told the investigation how he made his own weapons from metal tubes and with the help of a three-dimensional printer, he also made “Molotov cocktails” and bombs, and bought ammunition on the Internet.