Im trial against Gil Ofarim the prosecution’s most important witness incriminated the Jewish musician. When asked by the court on Wednesday before the regional court in Leipzig, the hotel manager stated that neither Ofarim’s Star of David nor anti-Semitic statements had played a role in the dispute over checking into the hotel. The public prosecutor’s office accuses the artist of, among other things, false suspicion and defamation.
At the beginning of October 2021, the musician made serious allegations of anti-Semitism against the manager of the Leipzig hotel in an Instagram video. Ofarim was told to take off his Star of David and only then would he be allowed to check in, the singer accused. However, after extensive investigations by the public prosecutor’s office, charges were brought against Ofarim himself. The case against the hotel manager was dropped.
Witness is receiving psychological treatment
During the discussion with Ofarim, he only noticed jewelry on his hand and nowhere else, the witness said on Wednesday. He also didn’t hear any calls from other guests or employees. The 35-year-old man is still receiving psychological treatment following the allegations and left the hotel of his own accord this September, but still works in the industry. He also appears as a co-plaintiff in the proceedings.
The defense waived questions and requested that the witness be sworn in. From their point of view, the manager had deliberately lied on some points. The court rejected the application. “The chamber has no concrete conviction that the witness has not yet told the full truth,” said the presiding judge, Andreas Stadler. The statement also does not have a sole decisive meaning. “Other people also made perceptions about the conversation.”
Hotel guest saw the necklace with the Star of David
On Wednesday, the then employee at the hotel’s reception stated that there had been no anti-Semitic comments during check-in. When it was Ofarim’s turn at the counter, he was upset because of an alleged preference for other guests and complained with wild gesticulations. As soon as he was in the room, he is said to have said, “it goes viral about what a terrible place” the hotel is. The manager then exercised his house rules and expelled the guest from the hotel. “I would have done the same thing.”
A hotel guest who was standing in line behind the rock musician said in court: “I saw the piece of jewelry with the Star of David.” The star was hanging on a long chain. His travel companion said in the trial: “Ofarim initially waited in line very calmly and calmly.” Later he became more impatient and complained that guests were being brought forward.
After Ofarim’s video was published, there was “chaos” in front of and in the hotel, the 25-year-old explained. Numerous media representatives were in the lobby that evening, and several hundred demonstrators gathered in front of the hotel to demonstrate against anti-Semitism. “In the following weeks there were massive threats against the hotel and security measures were also tightened.”
The regional court has scheduled eight more dates for the trial until December 7th.
The post first appeared on www.faz.net