Status: 29.11.2023, 04:52 a.m.
By: Michelle Brey
The trial of Gil Ofarim attracted a lot of attention. On Tuesday, a settlement was reached after a confession by the singer.
Leipzig – A confession, an apology, and a fine of 10,000 euros: The trial against the Jewish musician Gil Ofarim took a surprising turn on Tuesday. The judge in charge of the trial found clear words. The Central Council of Jews also commented.
Trial against musician Gil Ofarim: These are the backgrounds
Gil Ofarim made serious accusations, and now he had to answer for himself before the Regional Court of Leipzig. At the beginning of October 2021, the musician had accused a hotel manager of the "Westin" of anti-Semitism in a video published on Instagram. He had been asked by the latter in the accommodation to take off his Star of David necklace. Only then was he allowed to check in, the hotel manager is said to have said, according to the singer. The video went viral.
The public prosecutor's office undertook extensive investigations. After that, however, an indictment was brought against Ofarim himself, but the case against the hotel manager was dropped. The charges against Ofarim were: slander and false suspicion. He maintained his innocence for a long time.
Ofarim Trial: Surprising Confession - "The Accusations Are True"
In court, Ofarim now confessed to having lied. "Mr. W., I would like to apologize to you, I'm sorry, I deleted the video," the words read. In front of the Leipzig Regional Court, the 41-year-old also said: "The allegations are true." He turned once again to the hotel manager, who appeared as a joint plaintiff: "I would like to apologize to you." He accepted the apology and, according to his lawyer, was glad that "the truth could be brought to light".
In addition to the 10,000 euros fine, there will also be compensation for the hotel manager. Lawyer Daniel Baumgärtner did not give details about the amount. "We're happy with the deal so far and it stays that way," he said. "Nothing better could have happened to us."
Judge finds clear words in the Ofarim trial - "This is the end of the matter"
In the trial, the presiding judge, Andreas Stadler, had already found clear words as a conclusion. "The Chamber is convinced that the defendant's confession today is true," he said. The defendant and the joint plaintiff had come to an agreement, the path of reparation for damages had been taken and the binding nature of the law had been guaranteed. The good reputation of the hotel manager has been restored.
"An apology is valuable. A judgment is subject to appeal. It's not an excuse," he added, as Focus.de reported, adding that Ofarim had won "the chance for a liberated new start." "Yes, he made a mistake. But he has confessed to it, he has asked for an apology and he has received it. That settles the matter. One thing remains the same: anti-Semitism is a fact, the fight against it is a task."
Central Council of Jews speaks out after Ofarim confession
The Baden-Württemberg anti-Semitism commissioner Michael Blume defended the Jewish musician after his confession. The Central Council of Jews in Germany expressed a different view. He declared that Ofarim had caused great harm to all those who are actually affected by anti-Semitism. "In addition to lying to the public, he also lied to the Jewish community," it continued.
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In the run-up to the trial, internal expert documents had surfaced as well as a photo, which raised doubts about the musician's version. (mbr/dpa)