Germany: Halle synagogue attack trial kicks off in Magdeburg

The trial against alleged Halle synagogue attacker Stephan Balliet, charged with two counts of murder and seven counts of attempted murder, kicked off in Magdeburg on Tuesday. Lawyers and trial attendees were seen arriving inside the courtroom and getting ready for the start of the trial, minutes before Stephan Balliet was accompanied inside under heavy police presence and the judges made their way inside the room. On October 9, 2019, Stephan Balliet allegedly opened fire in the vicinity of a synagogue in the eastern German city of Halle, after failing to gain entry to the building, killing two people. He was arrested in the town of Zeitz and charged with two counts of murder, and several of attempted murder, with 'anti-Semitic, racist and xenophobic' intention by a regional court. One of the victims was slain in a Jewish cemetery outside the synagogue while the other was gunned down in a nearby kebab shop.

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