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Germany: AfD's Höcke trial moved to more prominent court

November 30, 2023

The far-right politician will face trial in the central German city of Halle, the largest city in Saxony-Anhalt. During a speech in May 2021, Höcke used the slogan of the Nazis' notorious Sturmabteilung (SA).

The Thuringian AfD parliamentary group leader Björn Höcke speaks on the Schlossplatz in Oranienburg
The regional leader comes from the far-right wing of Germany's main far-right partyImage: Britta Pedersen/dpa/picture alliance

German far-right politician of the Alternative for Germany (AfD) Björn Höcke is going to face trial in the regional court in the major city of Halle, over using Nazi vocabulary.

The Higher Regional Court of Naumburg in the state of Saxony-Anhalt upheld on Thursday an appeal by the public prosecutor's office, paving the way for his trial.

The trial was announced in September, but it was still unclear whether Höcke would be tried in Halle, where the prosecutors filed the charges, or in the smaller town of Merseburg, where he delivered his speech.

Despite a district court decision to hold the trial in the latter, the Higher Regional Court took a different view, saying that public interest and Höcke's prominence justified holding the trial in Halle — the largest city in Saxony-Anhalt.

It is not clear when the trial will start.

What did Höcke say?

The prosecution charged Höcke with using a banned Nazi slogan in a public speech.

He is accused of knowingly using the slogan of the notorious Sturmabteilung of Adolf Hitler's Nazi party during a speech in Saxony-Anhalt in May 2021.

The indictment quoted Höcke as telling the crowd: "Everything for our homeland, everything for Saxony-Anhalt, everything for Germany."

The AfD's regional leader in Thuringia has been criminally investigated before.

A court also previously ruled that it is legal to call him a fascist after a town council tried to prevent a call to protest "against the racist AfD, especially against the fascist Höcke."

However, this is the first time he has been ordered to stand trial for his remarks.

Höcke: AfD is 'systematically bullied'

rmt/ab (AFP, dpa)

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