In October 2019, a man in Halle, Saxony-Anhalt made a video of himself attacking a synagogue on Yom Kippur as well as shooting random people with no clear purpose in mind. Shoebat.com documented the act and provided an analysis of the crimes, which you can read here.
It has now been nine months later and the person who is accused of the crime, Stephan Balliet, has been now charged in German courts according to France24.
A German man went on trial Tuesday for a Yom Kippur attack on a synagogue that is considered one of the worst anti-Semitic assaults in the country’s post-war history.
The trial comes at a time when anti-Semitic crimes have reached their highest level since Germany started tracking such crimes in 2001, amid an overall increase in right-wing extremist criminality.
Stephan Balliet, 28, is alleged to have posted an anti-Semitic screed before carrying out the October 9 attack in the eastern German city of Halle. He broadcast the shooting live on a popular gaming site.
The attacker tried but failed repeatedly to force his way into the synagogue as 52 worshippers were inside. Prosecutors allege he then shot and killed a 40-year-old woman in the street outside and a 20-year-old man at a nearby kebab shop as an “appropriate target” with immigrant roots.
Balliet is charged with 13 crimes including murder and attempted murder, along with bodily harm, incitement and other charges. Forty-three victims and relatives have joined the trial as co-plaintiffs, as allowed under German law.
The start of the Magdeburg state court trial was delayed for two hours due to the intense interest from dozens of national and international reporters and others who lined up for hours in front of the court building to get through security.
The suspect, clad in all black, with a blue face mask and shaved head, was taken to the court room by special forces with bullet-proof vests and covered faces. Balliet was handcuffed and his feet were shackled, the German news agency dpa reported.
Igor Matviyets, a member of Halle’s Jewish community, who stood vigil with dozens of others outside the court building, said he worried the assault would be considered a crime against Jews only and not as an attack on the entire society.
“That is something I’m trying to fight against,” Matviyets told The Associated Press. “Because everyone could become a target of far-right crime, of far-right terrorists.”
During his attack, Balliet was armed with eight firearms, several explosive devices, a helmet and a protective vest, according to the indictment. Prosecutors have said the weapons were apparently homemade.
Following the attack, the suspect fled the city, wounding another two people in a small town near Halle where he abandoned his car and stole a taxi. Balliet was arrested about 1½ hours after the attack as he got out of the taxi, which had been in an accident. (source)