Unpunished act

Almost a year after the attack on a theater group in Halberstadt, the 23-year-old main defendant has been sentenced to two years in prison. Christian W. had struck the first blow and thus taken the initiative, the court declared in Magdeburg on Wednesday. The three co-defendants, aged 23 to 29, were acquitted for lack of evidence. Criticism of procedure comes from victims.

The arrest warrant for Christian W. Remains suspended because there is no risk of flight, said presiding judge Holger Selig. Christian W. Was convicted of dangerous bodily harm "in three related cases". The sentence was six months less than the prison time demanded by the public prosecutor's office. The defense attorney had requested a one-year prison sentence for bodily injury.The court had found no evidence that W. had acted out of a right-wing extremist motive, Selig explained. In the case of the co-defendants, it was only "second-class acquittals". There were "incriminating moments" that could not have been proven.The four young men were charged with dangerous bodily harm. According to the indictment, they only attacked because the perpetrators had assigned the theater people to the left-wing scene on the basis of their appearance. During the attack on an ensemble of the Nordharzer Stadtebundtheater on 9. In June 2007, five members were injured on the open road, some seriously. The crime had also sparked nationwide outrage because of the negligent actions of the police. Police leaders acknowledged that alerted officers had been slow to intervene and had not pursued the perpetrators.Halberstadt's mayor Andreas Henke (Left) reacted with disappointment to the verdict. After police breakdowns and investigation files that only emerged very late, the verdict was "not surprising, but a fatal signal" for the victims and all people committed against right-wing violence, Henke explained. Nevertheless, in the course of the trial, the view for the confrontation with right-wing extremism and violence has been sharpened.Theater director Andre Bucker had reiterated his massive criticism of the proceedings even before the verdict was reached. It is a "catastrophe" when the prosecution brings charges and only in the course of the trial discovers that there is no evidence. In addition, the right-wing extremist background of the defendants played no role at all in the trial.

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