He is greeted with applause by his supporters, and he is on trial for incitement to hatred: In the course of the corona pandemic, Bhakdi is said to have incited hatred against Jews.
Accompanied by expressions of sympathy from his supporters and a large media rush, a trial for hate speech against the physician and author Sucharit Bhakdi has begun in Plön, Schleswig-Holstein. In view of feared protests, the police deployed around 50 officers at the district court of the district town. The judiciary also increased its staff. Despite the crowds at the entrance, there were no incidents.
At the start on Tuesday, the defense had complained about serious flaws in the prosecution. This anticipated the taking of evidence that was reserved for the proceedings. A reading is therefore not permitted. The defense demanded that the proceedings should be discontinued. The Attorney General denied the request.
After an interruption, the criminal judge decided to continue the trial. There had been no inadmissible anticipation of the assessment of evidence. However, he gave the legal notice that, as things stand at present, the accused statements may no longer be punishable.
The Attorney General accuses Bhakdi (76) of hate speech in two counts. The retired professor of microbiology is considered an icon of the “lateral thinker” movement. In his bestselling books on the pandemic, in interviews and speeches, he repeatedly spread false information about the corona virus. The universities in Mainz and Kiel, where he used to work, have distanced themselves from Bhakdi’s statements.
According to the indictment, in April 2021 Bhakdi incited hatred towards Jews living in Germany in connection with fierce criticism of Israel’s vaccination policy and maliciously despised them as a religious group.
Quick judgment expected
In addition, in a speech at an election campaign event in September 2021 in Kiel, he is said to have linked the approval of Covid 19 vaccines to an “ultimate goal” and spoke of a second Holocaust. According to the public prosecutor’s office, he played down the fate of Jews under the Nazi regime. Bhakdi denies the allegations. The verdict is expected on Tuesday.
Around 300 supporters of Bkahdi had gathered in front of the courthouse. They received the accused with applause. There were banners with big hearts reading “Thank you” and calling for Bhakdi’s acquittal.
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