The 28-year-old accused was handcuffed and shackled in the process of the right-wing terrorist attack from Halle to the trial room. He was accompanied by masked specialists from the judiciary.
Stephan Balliet, who is accused of two murders and several attempted murders of 52 believers in a synagogue in Halle, appeared in jeans, a black jacket and sneakers. He was wearing a face mask. The hair was shaved short. The accused looked around the room seriously and looked calmly at the cameras.
The start of the process had been delayed. Security measures involving controls on visitors and media representatives had taken more time than previously thought, a court spokesman said.
Halle process scheduled until October
The trial is considered one of the largest and most important in the history of Saxony-Anhalt: 13 crimes are attributed to the accused, including murder and attempted murder. The court admitted 43 co-plaintiffs before the trial began and named a total of 147 witnesses. The prosecution’s indictment comprises a total of 121 pages. The court initially set 18 trial days until mid-October.
The negotiation room seats 50 visitors and almost as many media representatives. The accused was brought to the Magdeburg district court with flashing lights and an escort of police and judicial vehicles. Photos of the “Bild” newspaper showed the bald man in handcuffs in front of a helicopter accompanied by masked special forces.
On October 9, 2019, Yom Kippur’s highest Jewish holiday, the assassin tried heavily armed to storm the Halle synagogue. According to the federal prosecutor, he wanted to kill as many of the 52 visitors to the synagogue as possible. However, he could not gain access even with the use of weapons. He then killed a passer-by in front of the synagogue and a man in a kebab snack bar. He also injured several people while fleeing before police officers were able to arrest him about 50 kilometers south of Halle just over an hour and a half after the crime began.
The federal prosecutor accuses him of “having planned an assassination attempt on fellow citizens of the Jewish faith based on anti-Semitic, racist and xenophobic sentiments”. In the event of a conviction, the man who essentially admitted the allegations, according to the court, faces life imprisonment followed by preventive detention. (dpa)
Video: Trial of alleged Halle attackers begins on Tuesday (AFP)