Germany
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The German Federal Supreme Court (Bundesgeichtshof) in Karlsruhe has rejected an appeal by the Halle synagogue terrorist to have his life sentence overturned.

The court found no legal reasons why the Naumburg Higher Regional Court’s life sentence verdict should be overturned. The court sentenced neo-Nazi Stephan Balliet to life in prison for a deadly 2019 attack on the Halle synagogue on Yom Kippur in which he attempted to kill as many people as possible. The attack was only prevented from being a planned bloodbath by a bolted door at the synagogue.

After failing to storm the synagogue on October 9, 2019, Stephan Balliet, 28, shot dead a female passer-by and a man at a kebab shop.

"Without that famous reinforced door, he would have committed a massacre," presiding judge Ursula Mertens said as she read out the verdict.

During his five-month trial, Balliet denied the Holocaust in open court – a crime in Germany – and expressed no remorse to those targeted, many of whom were co-plaintiffs in the case.

He was convicted of two counts of murder and multiple counts of attempted murder in a case that deeply rattled the country and fuelled fears about rising right-wing extremism and anti-Jewish violence, 75 years after the end of the Nazi era.