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Trial in Bonn: Defendant sentenced after attack on Jewish professor

Trial in Bonn : Defendant sentenced after attack on Jewish professor

A 21-year-old is said to have attacked a Jewish professor at the Hofgarten in Bonn in the summer of 2018. On Monday, the accused was sentenced by the local court.

In the case of the Jewish professor, who was attacked in the Hofgarten in the summer of 2018, the Bonn District Court on Monday issued a verdict. The 21-year-old defendant was sentenced to four-and-a-half years for incitement to hatred, insult, coercion and promotions. This includes an existing juvenile sentence of three years and nine months. The man confessed largely in all cases.

The incident had caused headlines nationwide. The Israeli visiting professor Jitzchak Jochanan Melamed, who lives in Baltimore, USA, had had his kippa kicked off several times by a young German with Palestinian roots. The arriving police, however, had probably initially confused the perpetrator and the victim. In March of this year, the Bonn public prosecutor's office had discontinued a corresponding investigation against the four officers, which was now strongly criticized by the scientist in a statement. He had been attacked twice: First by the accused and then by a "gang of four Bonn police officers". The first was "unpleasant", but negligible compared to the brutality of the Bonn police.

Because Melamed did not trust the German prosecution authorities, he had decided to stay away from the trial, the scientist, who appeared as a joint plaintiff, had his attorneys arrange for this. In the further course of the statement read out by his lawyer Carsten Ilius, he not only accused the authorities of trying to cover up the incident by stirring up hostilities against minorities and immigrants but a black eye, which he had suffered from the dispute with the four officers, had also been falsely blamed on the accused.

Judge Susanne Grunert who conducted the trial, which lasted all day, remained sovereign and calm. A large number of witnesses were heard, because the incident with Melamed is not the only one the 21-year-old defendant was accused of: The indictment also included six other cases, ranging from gross affront and fare evasion to threats and bodily harm, which also allegedly took place in Wuppertal and Bonn this summer. He was acquitted of the charge of bodily harm.

In addition, the accused is not a first time offender for the judiciary: Last autumn, the young man was sentenced to three and a half years' juvenile sentence for his involvement in robberies at supermarkets in Königswinter and Bonn. A doctor of law and a psychiatrist attested that the accused had mental disorders that might have been exacerbated by drug use. The man had distanced himself from his anti-Semitic remarks, not least because he had met a Jew in prison. In conversations with the investigators, however, the man had previously expressed a deep-seated anti-Semitism. "I am Hitler number two" he is said to have stated.

(Original text: Leif Kubik / Translation: Mareike Graepel)