Charges approved: Gil Ofarim faces trial

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The turning point in the alleged anti-Semitism scandal surrounding singer Gil Ofarim is now also taking legal shape. The musician will probably have to answer to court from October 24. He is charged with false suspicion and slander.

It’s been nearly a year since Gil Ofarim made public an alleged anti-Semitism scandal at a Leipzig hotel. But soon there were doubts about the portrayal of the singer. Instead of being a possible victim, he was now attacked by the investigating authorities as the alleged perpetrator.

The result: The Leipzig prosecutor charged the 40-year-old in March of libel and false suspicion. In fact, Ofarim will soon have to answer to court. The competent regional court in Leipzig has now allowed the charges to remain unchanged and has opened the main proceedings against the musician. The court has also issued a so-called legal notice that the offense of defamation can also be met in the event of a conviction.

The trial was set to begin on October 24, the court said. The trial is scheduled for seven days of negotiations until the end of November. As long as it is not final, the presumption of innocence applies to the singer.

More charges filed

The court also announced that the Leipzig Public Prosecutor had filed another charge against Ofarim. It deals with false affidavits, fraud and attempted fraud. However, the court has not yet made a decision on the opening of these proceedings.

The background to the further charges are two injunction requests, with which Ofarim has acted against press releases. In it he allegedly swore “unreliably that he never stated that the video he made should go ‘viral’, and he also repeated the – from the point of view of the Public Prosecution Service – incorrect statements about the words of the hotel employee”, shared. him that dish.

The regional court assumes that it is responsible for the trial because of the special importance of the case. It follows the assessment of the public prosecutor’s office.

A “show process”?

A statement from Ofarim’s lawyer regarding the current opening of the main proceedings against his client was initially unavailable. Alexander Stevens, whose law firm has taken on the musician’s defense, had already criticized in August that the charges had not been brought to court. “It cannot be denied that the Leipzig judiciary could request a show trial here, which cannot be ruled out for political reasons,” he said at the time.

Stevens also spoke of “huge media bias” from his client. “Despite the fundamentally protected presumption of innocence, the father of the country, (Saxony) Prime Minister (Michael) Kretschmer, but also ex-Justice Minister Heiko Maas, for example, commented on the case in advance and thus gave their subordinate judiciary guidelines for a conviction,” he called serious accusations, with which he also questioned the independence of the Leipzig judiciary.

Ofarim sticks to his presentation

Ofarim wanted to check into a hotel in Leipzig in October 2021. In a video he uploaded to social media and then went viral, he then accused a receptionist of anti-Semitic insults at him. Last but not least, it is said to be about a Star of David who claims to have worn Ofarim on a chain around his neck. According to Ofarim, the employee asked him to take off the necklace.

According to the OM, the incident did not happen that way. Surveillance camera footage showed no chain around Ofarim’s neck. Eyewitnesses claim not to have heard any anti-Semitic insults from the singer. The employee concerned denied the allegations and filed a complaint against Ofarim. According to the court, he is now appearing as a co-plaintiff in the trial. Ofarim, on the other hand, stuck to his report despite these contradictions, but has recently stopped commenting on the matter personally.

Gil Ofarim was born in Munich. He is the son of Israeli singer Abi Ofarim, who passed away in 2018.

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