Germany: Neo-Nazi terrorist goes on trial for Yom Kippur Synagogue shooting attack
A 28-year old neo-Nazi terrorist who murdered two people after opening fire on a synagogue in eastern Germany on the Jewish holy day of Yom Kippur last year was led into a courtroom by armed police for the start of his trial on Tuesday.
The Nazi terrorist, identified as Stephan Balliet, failed to shoot down the door of the Synagogue in the city of Halle in order to massacre scores of Jewish worshipers.
A 40-year-old woman was murdered in front of the synagogue and a 20-year-old man in a nearby kebab shop. Two other people, a couple, were shot and wounded. The terrorist live-streamed his attack.
He apologized for killing the German woman, saying he “really did not plan to or want to” shoot her.
He is accused of murder on two counts plus attempted murder and incitement. If convicted, he faces a life sentence.
Prosecutors say he has confessed to the crimes and confessed that he was motivated by anti-Semitism and neo-Nazi extremism.
The start of the trial was delayed by two hours due to strict security measures.
Josef Schuster, President of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, said the killer must face the full force of the law and that the Halle attack showed how right-wing populists and extremists had become more brazen.
Following the attack, Jewish community leaders criticized German authorities for failing to do enough to combat rising anti-Semitism and demanded round-the-clock security for Jewish sites in the country.