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Process: Höcke should be given the opportunity to testify

Process: Höcke should be given the opportunity to testify

Björn Höcke is said to have knowingly used an SA slogan in a speech. That’s why he’s been in court since last Thursday. Now the AfD politician himself could testify about the allegations.

Did Björn Höcke know that the phrase “Everything for Germany” was a forbidden slogan of the Sturmabteilung (SA) of the NSDAP and still used it in a speech? That is the key question in the trial against Thuringia’s AfD leader. The public prosecutor’s office is convinced: the former history teacher knew what he was doing. Now he will have the opportunity today to comment on the allegations against him before the regional court in Halle.

The trial against Höcke opened last Thursday. Hundreds of the defendant’s political opponents as well as numerous representatives of the press also came to the Saale city.

Höcke is accused of using the symbols of unconstitutional and terrorist organizations. The process was delayed enormously at the beginning – also because Höcke’s lawyers filed several applications and complaints. Among other things, they demanded that all days of the hearing be documented by audio recording. It should also be clarified again whether the Halle Regional Court is actually responsible for the process.

Höcke defends choice of words in TV duel

At the end of the first day of the trial, the defense announced that Höcke would comment during the trial and also answer questions from the public prosecutor. Time is scheduled for this on the second day of the trial.

A week before the trial began, Höcke defended his choice of words in a television duel with the Thuringian CDU top candidate Mario Voigt. He said on broadcaster Welt that he used the slogan in a free campaign speech and ultimately translated Donald Trump’s slogan “America First” into German in a freely interpreted manner.

When asked whether he didn’t know during the speech that “Everything for Germany” was an SA slogan, he said: “No, I didn’t know.” It’s a common saying, said Höcke, who wants to run as his party’s top candidate in the state elections in Thuringia on September 1st. The AfD is classified and monitored by the state Office for the Protection of the Constitution in Thuringia as definitely right-wing extremist.

Höcke is said to have used Parole again

The trial in Halle is the first of its kind against Höcke. The starting point for the charges against the AfD politician is a speech he gave in Merseburg (Saalekreis) in Saxony-Anhalt in May 2021. He is said to have spoken the banned SA slogans. He was then reported by the then Green Party leader in Saxony-Anhalt, Sebastian Striegel. In December last year, Höcke is said to have used the saying again during an appearance in Gera. However, this case is currently not part of the hearing in Halle.

Due to the high level of public interest, the trial will not take place directly in the regional court in Halle, but in a larger courtroom in the justice center. A total of four main hearing days are planned until mid-May. However, this could change as the negotiations progress.

In the future, the politician, who was born in North Rhine-Westphalia, will also have to answer in court for further allegations. An indictment against him on charges of incitement to hatred was admitted at the Mühlhausen regional court – there are no dates for the trial there yet.

Source: Stern

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