Sep 22 2022 1:39 p.m
In October 2021, the musician accused the staff of a Leipzig hotel of having spoken anti-Semitic insults to him. A case against the hotel employee was discontinued. Now Ofarim has to answer in court.
Gil Ofarim, son of the singer and producer Abi Ofarim (singing duo Esther and Abi Ofarim), who was well-known in the 1960s, became the focus of the German and international press in October 2021. In a video he posted on Instagram, the musician claimed alleged anti-Semitic insults by a hotel employee in Leipzig. The employee at “The Westin” is said to have asked him to “put away his necklace with the star of David so that he could check in”.
Ofarim also made this substantive statement to the investigating police at a later date. The proceedings then initiated against the hotel employee who was initially accused of “accusations of insult, attempted coercion, incitement to hatred and false suspicion” have now been discontinued information the Leipziger Volkszeitung.
The district court in Leipzig has now announced that the charges against Gil Ofarim “for false suspicion and defamation” will be admitted and the main proceedings will be opened. According to the investigating public prosecutor’s office, the incident did not happen, contrary to Ofarim’s account. The hotel employee concerned had meanwhile filed a complaint and, according to the court, will appear as a joint plaintiff in the upcoming trial.
As the district court announced on Wednesday, the trial against the musician is scheduled to begin on October 24th. According to the German press agency (dpa) the court also issued a so-called legal notice that “in the event of a conviction, the offense of defamation could possibly also be fulfilled”. The district court has scheduled seven days of hearings until the end of November for the proceedings. According to information from Ofarim, the presumption of innocence applies until the legal conclusion of the proceedings dpa.
Ofarim’s Munich lawyer Alexander Stevens expressed in August the assumption that the decision of the Leipzig judiciary could cause a kind of “show trial”. Another indictment that has become known was accompanied by two applications for a temporary injunction, with which “Ofarim took action against press releases,” said the dpa. In it he is said to have “untruthfully sworn in oath” that he had never said that the video he made with the statements about the hotel employee should “go viral”. No final decision by the court has yet been communicated regarding the opening of these possible proceedings.
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