JVA Burg in Saxony-Anhalt: hostage-taking in the late evening
Photo: IMAGO/Christian Schroedter
Two days after the hostage-taking in the Burg prison in Saxony-Anhalt, further details about the crime of the Halle assassin became known.
The first judicial officer whom the perpetrator took into his power is said to have feared for his life and therefore complied with the man's demands.
Prison boss Ulrike Hagemann said this in the legal committee of the state parliament of Saxony-Anhalt, which had met for a special session because of the incident.
As a result, the right-wing extremist Stephan Balliet made it clear to the surprised security guard on Monday evening during the so-called night lock what he was about: "We're going out now." According to Hagemann, he held "an object" under the officer's nose, "that was suitable for the to frighten servants."
According to SPIEGEL information, investigators speak of a "weapon-like object"; in the course of the hostage-taking, Balliet fired a kind of warning shot at a prison fence and threatened to shoot his hostage.
Hagemann attributes the fact that the escape attempt failed after less than 45 minutes to the professional behavior of the employees.
The first hostage immediately raised an alarm, the second man in Balliet's power was specially trained for such situations.
He acted very skilfully and "resolved the crisis situation fantastically."
Both hostages are young men: one has been working in Burg prison since last year, the other since this summer.
Minister of Justice Franziska Weidinger had already asserted yesterday that Balliet had been closely monitored.
A lack of staff also played no role, and according to Hagemann, there were no right-wing extremists among the prisoners in Balliet's environment who could be considered as possible accomplices.
But how could one of the most dangerous inmates in Saxony-Anhalt's largest prison take two hostages?
Eva von Angern, representative of the left in the legal committee, is irritated by the previous statements: "On the one hand, the prisoner is said to have been closely guarded, on the other hand he was apparently able to secretly tinker a weapon," she told SPIEGEL.
"That doesn't add up at all, those responsible must also explain this contradiction in the interests of the victims of the right-wing terrorist." Prison boss Hagemann argues that prisoners repeatedly manage to manipulate simple everyday objects with "a lot of time and imagination".
Balliet is currently being closely monitored in a “high security cell”.
He is said to have been questioned just one day after the crime – it is not yet known whether he has commented on the incident.
"We are conducting intensive investigations," said a spokesman for the State Criminal Police Office.
The right-wing extremist and anti-Semite, who attacked the synagogue in Halle in October 2019 and murdered two people, is serving a life sentence in the prison near Magdeburg followed by preventive detention - most recently largely isolated, as the authorities announced on Tuesday.
The process had triggered nationwide horror, in Saxony-Anhalt it was primarily the opposition in the state parliament that was putting the pressure on.
"At the moment it is unclear whether the right-wing terrorist had supporters in the prison," said the left-wing MP Henriette Quade.
"For security reasons, he should therefore be immediately transferred from Saxony-Anhalt to another federal state." The Ministry of Justice had already brought such a so-called security transfer into play: This option is being examined, it is a standard procedure.
The first consequences are meanwhile: The procedure in the case has been taken over by the Attorney General of the State of Saxony-Anhalt – with reference “to the importance of the matter”, as the investigators in Naumburg announced.
With material from dpa