Defendant Lina E. (hidden) with her defense attorney Erkan Zünbül on September 8, 2021: She does not comment on the allegations
Photo: JENS SCHLUETER / AFP
The attackers apparently thought he was a neo-Nazi.
Since the early hours of the morning, Tobias N. was out and about with three colleagues in Leipzig-Connewitz, a left-wing alternative district of the city, on January 8, 2019.
They examined the sewer system for damage, cleaned a gutter.
At around 11 a.m., Tobias N. brought a ladder back to her company vehicle.
"I tied the ladder to the truck, turned around, and at that moment someone was standing in front of me," said Tobias N. on Tuesday as a witness before the Dresden Higher Regional Court.
The man was masked, looked at him carefully, then slammed.
The punch hit Tobias N. in the face.
He fell to the ground.
Then more beats came from all sides, which is why Tobias N. assumes more than one perpetrator.
He only noticed the one who suddenly stood in front of him.
Tobias N. is 31 years old and comes from Saxony-Anhalt.
It is difficult for him to testify in court.
After a while, he will ask the court to take a break.
The presiding judge Hans Schlueter-Staats asks how long the attack lasted.
"It felt like an eternity to me," says Tobias N. "I was scared to death," says the protocol of his interrogation with the police.
The judge quotes the sentence.
Multiple fractures in the face
According to the Federal Prosecutor's Office, Tobias N. was the victim of Lina E. and other members of a left-wing extremist criminal organization.
Since September, the 26-year-old has had to answer to the State Security Senate together with three co-defendants.
The group is said to have hunted neo-Nazis between October 2018 and February 2020 and injured 13 men, some seriously.
Tobias N. suffered lacerations on his head and several fractures on his face.
His cheekbone and the bones around his right eye had to be fixed with metal plates.
The records are still in his head today.
Doctors told him that surgery to remove them would be risky.
Tobias N. still suffers from severe headaches and numbness in his face today.
He does not want to speak in court about the fact that he has been suffering from fears since the attack.
"You have to go through it," is all he says.
The judge asks if he has any idea who beat him up and for what reasons.
No, he says.
“I've gone through that a thousand times: why?
Why? ”The first attacker reminded him of a former Romanian colleague because he thought he had heard German with an Eastern European accent.
But he rejected the suspicion again.
"I'm out of the milieu then"
Then Tobias N. speaks of the black wool hat he was wearing that day.
The hat is from his youth, he says.
It was a present from a friend.
The presiding judge asks whether the hat can be described as "scene clothing".
"I'm not dealing with it," says the witness.
The judge doesn't ask what Tobias N. is trying to say.
Instead, he simply asks directly: "Have you ever been in the right-wing scene?"
At the age of 15 or 16, he was active in the right-wing scene, says Tobias N. At the time, he was also sentenced to imprisonment for using unconstitutional symbols and for assault, suspended on probation.
The conviction made him rethink.
Because he didn't want to end up in jail one day, he stopped the "nonsense".
"I'll be out of the milieu then."
Later the court will show photos of the hat.
It is black and has a logo with a bird of prey, somewhere the words »Radical Warrior« are written »Radical Warrior«.
According to the Federal Prosecutor's Office, the clothing is said to be popular among neo-Nazis.
The witness says he has never worn the hat before.
His wife gave it to him that day because of the cold.
The defense has no questions for the witness.
After Tobias N. has left the room, the court shows photos of his injuries.
His face is swollen and the back of his head is bloody.
His colleague heard him scream at the time.
He also testifies in court that day.
The now 48-year-old was standing behind the vehicle when Tobias N. attached the ladder to one side of the vehicle.
"Suddenly a masked man stood in front of me," said this witness. “Keep calm, we don't want anything from you. Please move aside, ”the man told him. He spoke very calmly. Then suddenly "a girl" was standing in front of him and there were other "boys" with her. Everyone wore balaclavas and gloves. The "girl" held a small bottle in his direction. "Looked like a little fire extinguisher," says the witness. The federal prosecutor's office assumes irritant gas. "Stay calm. We don't want anything from you, ”she said too. And then: "This is a Nazi, he deserves it."
The "girl" had kept the witness in check, the "boys" had gone in the direction of his colleague Tobias N.
"He was beaten up there," says the witness.
He did not see the attack on his colleague.
"I heard him scream." When a tram came, the perpetrators fled.
The court asks about the girl.
The witness says it was more of a young woman.
Athletic, slim figure, not much shorter than himself, maybe 1.75 meters tall.
She didn't speak a dialect.
The federal prosecutor's office thinks Lina E. is the woman who made sure that the witness did not come to the aid of his colleague Tobias N.
The 26-year-old herself does not comment on the allegations.