The defendant Stephan Balliet
The defendant Stephan Balliet
Photo: Getty Images
The defendant Stephan Balliet

German prosecutors seek life for Yom Kippur attacker

Federal prosecutors ask the court to convict far-right extremist Stephan Balliet on charges of murder and attempted murder among others, for his attack on a synagogue in the eastern city of Halle last year

Associated Press |
Published: 11.18.20 , 21:09
German prosecutors called Wednesday for a court to impose a life sentence on a 28-year-old right-wing extremist who attacked a synagogue in the eastern city of Halle last year, killing two people after he failed to gain entry to the building.
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  • The attack on Yom Kippur, Judaism's holiest day, is considered one of the worst anti-Semitic assaults in Germany's post-war history. The defendant, Stephan Balliet, has is alleged to have posted a screed against Jews before trying to shoot his way into the synagogue on Oct. 9, 2019, while broadcasting the attack live on a popular gaming site.
    The defendant Stephan BallietThe defendant Stephan Balliet
    The defendant Stephan Balliet
    (Photo: Getty Images)
    Federal prosecutors asked the court in nearby Magdeburg to convict Balliet of murder, attempted murder, incitement to hatred and attempted violent extortion. They urged the judges to find the defendant "seriously culpable," meaning that he would be barred from early release after 15 years.
    גרמניה מתאבלים האלה יום אחרי פיגוע יהודים אנטישמיותגרמניה מתאבלים האלה יום אחרי פיגוע יהודים אנטישמיות
    A man laying flowers outside the Halle Synagogue after it cam under anti-Semitic attack
    ( (Photo: EPA))
    During his trial, which began in July, Balliet admitted he wanted to enter the synagogue and kill 51 people inside. When he was unable to open the building's heavy doors, the German shot and killed a 40-year-old woman in the street outside and a 20-year-old man at a nearby kebab shop, and wounded several others.
    Federal prosecutor Kai Lohse said the shooting had been an attack not just on the people inside the synagogue but on Jewish life in general in Germany.
    Candles and flowers placed in front of a synagogue in Halle, after a heavily armed assailant ranting about Jews tried to force his way into the synagogue in Germany; Sign reads, 'Jews in Halle - We stay next to you! You are not alone' Candles and flowers placed in front of a synagogue in Halle, after a heavily armed assailant ranting about Jews tried to force his way into the synagogue in Germany; Sign reads, 'Jews in Halle - We stay next to you! You are not alone'
    Candles and flowers placed in front of a synagogue in Halle, after a heavily armed assailant ranting about Jews tried to force his way into the synagogue in Germany; Sign reads, 'Jews in Halle - We stay next to you! You are not alone'
    (Photo: AP)
    "In doing so the attacker aimed at all of us, because Jewish life is an indispensable part of our country," German news agency dpa quoted the prosecutor as saying.
    German authorities have vowed to step up measures against far-right extremism following the Halle attack, the killing of a regional politician by a suspected neo-Nazi and the fatal shooting of nine people of immigrant background in Hanau within a year.

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