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Trials: AfD state leader Höcke in court again for SA slogan

Trials: AfD state leader Höcke in court again for SA slogan
Trials: AfD state leader Höcke in court again for SA slogan

Björn Höcke returns to the dock in Halle. The AfD politician must also answer for a Nazi slogan in a second trial. So far he has denied the accusations.

Starting today, the Thuringian AfD chairman and parliamentary group leader Björn Höcke will have to answer to a second trial before the Halle Regional Court. This time, too, the accusation is that he used a banned slogan of the Sturmabteilung (SA).

This was the paramilitary combat organization of the Nazi party NSDAP. In December 2023, Höcke is said to have uttered the first two words of the slogan “Everything for Germany” as a speaker at an AfD event in Gera in Thuringia. He encouraged the audience to shout the third word of the slogan with gestures, according to the public prosecutor’s office.

She is of the opinion that the defendant and the audience knew that it was a forbidden Nazi slogan. Höcke is accused of using symbols of unconstitutional and terrorist organizations. According to the Halle Regional Court, the defendant has denied that his behavior has any criminal relevance.

First conviction not yet final

On May 14, the Halle Regional Court had already sentenced the AfD politician to a fine of 100 daily rates of 130 euros each for using symbols of unconstitutional and terrorist organizations. The case concerned a speech given by Höcke at an election campaign event in Merseburg in Saxony-Anhalt in May 2021, at the end of which he uttered the slogan. The chamber led by presiding judge Jan Stengel was convinced that Höcke knew that the SA slogan was banned. “You are an eloquent, intelligent man who knows what he is saying.”

The verdict is not legally binding. Höcke’s defense team filed an appeal. The politician had always stressed his innocence. He said he did not know the slogan, even as a trained history teacher.

Audience completed Nazi slogan

In the second case in December 2023, Höcke is said to have chanted the slogan even though he knew that criminal proceedings were already underway against him in connection with the first case. From the prosecutor’s point of view, he therefore certainly knew at the time that the offence was punishable. If convicted, the 52-year-old faces a prison sentence of up to three years or a fine, according to the Halle Regional Court.

After today’s trial begins, a second day of proceedings is planned for next Wednesday. The verdict could be announced then.

Third trial is scheduled in Mühlhausen

Höcke is also facing a third trial. The Mühlhausen Regional Court in Thuringia has admitted charges against Höcke on charges of incitement to hatred. Specifically, it concerns a post by Höcke on Telegram from 2022, which deals with an act of violence in Ludwigshafen and the alleged behavior of many immigrants. Trial dates have not yet been set.

Source: Stern

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