Regional court in Leipzig allows charges: defamation trial against Gil Ofarim starts on October 24th

Around a year after his anti-Semitism allegations against the employee of a Leipzig hotel, the musician Gil Ofarim has to answer to the district court of the Saxon city for false suspicion and defamation. According to information from Wednesday, the court allowed the corresponding charge by the public prosecutor’s office to remain unchanged and opened the main proceedings. It is scheduled to start on October 24th.

Ofarim had raised allegations of anti-Semitism against the hotel employee in October last year, which made waves at the time. Among other things, the then Foreign Minister Heiko Maas (SPD) was “stunned” and called for “society to stand shoulder to shoulder” against anti-Semitism. The prosecutor’s office investigated the matter for months. She came to the conclusion that the incident described by the musician had not happened.

In March 2022, the authorities therefore brought charges against the 40-year-old musician, who lives in Munich, for allegations of false suspicion and defamation, which were then examined by the court. The fact that the case is being heard before the regional court has to do with the “special importance” of the event and the great public attention. Usually, such allegations would be clarified in a trial before the district court.

Additional prosecution of the accused hotel employee also admitted

Parallel to the indictment, the Leipzig regional court also allowed the accusation of the hotel employee accused by Ofarim. For the proceedings against the musician, dates were initially set until the end of November.

After the singer's allegations of anti-Semitism, hundreds of people gathered in front of the
After the singer’s allegations of anti-Semitism, hundreds of people gathered in front of the “Westin Hotel” in Leipzig to protest.
© Dirk Knofe/dpa

Ofarim said he was asked by the hotel clerk to remove a Star of David necklace when he checked in. He first voiced the allegations publicly in a video on a social network, later he repeated them “untruthfully” to the police, according to the indictment.

He is therefore accused of false suspicion in two cases, in one case also of defamation. In its so-called opening decision, the Leipzig district court also formally indicated that in the event of a conviction, the offense of defamation could also be fulfilled. (AFP)

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