Trial in Halle:

Trial: Did AfD politician Höcke knowingly use Nazi slogans?

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14.05.2024 17:21

The regional court in Halle has sentenced the German AfD politician Björn Höcke to a fine for using a banned SA slogan. The regional court in Halle ruled on Tuesday that the 52-year-old must pay 13,000 euros and also bear the costs of the proceedings.

Höcke is to pay 100 daily rates of 130 euros each, the court ruled. The 52-year-old had rejected the accusation that he had knowingly used the banned slogan of the SA (Sturmabteilung) of the NSDAP. The verdict is not yet final, an appeal is possible within a week.

"Everything for Germany"
In a speech in May 2021 in Merseburg, Saxony-Anhalt, Höcke ended by saying: "Everything for our homeland, everything for Saxony-Anhalt, everything for Germany". The third part of the triad is a banned slogan.

Björn Höcke, chairman of the Thuringian AfD, is accused of using the symbols of unconstitutional and terrorist organizations. (Bild: AFP)
Björn Höcke, chairman of the Thuringian AfD, is accused of using the symbols of unconstitutional and terrorist organizations.
Björn Höcke (Bild: AP)
Björn Höcke

Public prosecutor's office demanded suspended sentence
In its plea, the public prosecutor's office had demanded a suspended prison sentence of six months. It is neither comprehensible nor credible that Höcke did not know that the slogan was banned, explained public prosecutor Benedikt Bernzen. In addition, the AfD man should pay 10,000 euros, preferably to charitable organizations. Höcke's defense lawyers demanded an acquittal in lengthy speeches.

Höcke critics in front of the regional court in halle (Bild: AFP)
Höcke critics in front of the regional court in halle
(Bild: AFP)

Lawyer Philip Müller said that there had been no reference to the Nazi era at the event in Merseburg. There was no evidence that the slogan had been used in a planned or prepared manner.

The Thuringian AfD is classified and monitored by the state's Office for the Protection of the Constitution as a confirmed right-wing extremist party, and Höcke is its state leader. The current verdict will not have any direct consequences for his top candidacy in the state elections in Thuringia on September 1.

The politician will probably have to return to the dock in Halle because he is alleged to have used the slogan "Everything for Germany" again at an appearance in Gera in December last year. According to the indictment, he is said to have spoken the first part of "Alles für" himself and then used gestures to encourage the audience to shout "Deutschland".

At this point, the charges relating to the speech in Merseburg and the investigations had long been a topic in the media. The Mühlhausen district court in Thuringia also admitted an indictment against him on the charge of incitement of the people. No dates have yet been set for either trial.

This article has been automatically translated,
read the original article here.

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