The defendant, Sucharit Bhakdi, sits in the courtroom. © Christian Charisius/dpa
The physician and author Sucharit Bhakdi has been acquitted of the charge of incitement to hatred. In its verdict on Tuesday, the district court in Plön, Schleswig-Holstein, assessed the defendant's speeches during the Corona pandemic as not punishable.
Plön - The Prosecutor General's Office had accused Bhakdi of incitement to hatred in two cases. Accordingly, in April 2021, Bhakdi is said to have incited hatred against Jews living in Germany in connection with fierce criticism of Israel's vaccination policy and maliciously disparaged them as a religious group.
The judge said in his reasoning that in the case of ambiguous statements, other interpretations must also be taken into account. It cannot be completely ruled out that Bhakdi's remarks meant only the Israeli government and not the people. The representative of the Prosecutor General's Office announced an appeal.
The retired professor of microbiology is considered an icon of the "lateral thinker" movement. In his bestselling books on the pandemic, in interviews and speeches, he spread Corona misinformation several times. The universities in Mainz and Kiel, where he used to work, have distanced themselves from Bhakdi's statements. (Az: OJf 9/21) dpa