The 41-year-old musician Gil Ofarim is in the dock on charges of, among other things, defamation and false suspicions. At the beginning of October 2021, the musician made serious allegations of anti-Semitism against a manager of the Leipzig hotel The Westin in an Instagram video. However, after extensive investigations by the public prosecutor’s office, charges were brought against Ofarim. FOCUS online accompanied the first two days of the trial live from the courtroom for you. A further eight dates are scheduled for the process:
- Tuesday, November 14, 2023, 9:00 a.m
- Wednesday, November 15, 2023, 9:00 a.m
- Thursday, November 16, 2023, 9:00 a.m
- Tuesday, November 28, 2023, 9:00 a.m
- Wednesday, November 29, 2023, 9:00 a.m
- Thursday, November 30, 2023, 9:00 a.m
- Wednesday, December 6, 2023, 9:00 a.m
- Thursday, December 7, 2023, 9:00 a.m
The libel trial against Gil Ofarim live
- FOCUS online reporter Christina Eisenberger was there for you
5:05 p.m.: The witness is thus dismissed. And today and the second day of the trial is over. The next day of the trial is scheduled for November 14th.
5:01 p.m.: The witness and her colleague went to the police on their own initiative – because they had read Ofarim’s descriptions in the media. In her opinion, the situation happened differently than Ofarim had described.
4:51 p.m.: Now come the defense questions. Whether Ofarim really “bullied,” as the witness wrote in her chat. What she meant was that he threatened to spread the incident on social media. She described the content as bullying.
4:39 p.m.: Now come the prosecutor’s questions. The witness explains that she didn’t notice a chain, but she only saw Ofarim from the side or from behind.
“That is definitely not true. He bullied. Nothing is wrong, unbelievable!”
4:36 p.m.: “Put away your star.” The witness did not hear this sentence.
4:35 p.m.: It’s about the situation in the lobby again. The witness didn’t hear any shouts and didn’t see anything unusual.
4:22 p.m.: The witness shows the court the WhatsApp chat with the colleague. The colleague sends an article about the anti-Semitism allegations that Ofarim made to the hotel employees and asks: “Was there really something going on? You were there?! It’s funny what he makes of it.” The witness replies: “That’s definitely not true. He bullied. Nothing is wrong, unbelievable!”
4:18 p.m.: The witness was sent the video that Ofarim published on social media from a colleague. The colleague asked whether that was the case. “No, that wasn’t the case,” said the witness.
“Bam, bam, viral”: Gil Ofarim is said to have threatened hotel managers with an Instagram video
4:13 p.m.: The witness says she heard Ofarim tell the hotel manager that he didn’t think it was okay for the men to get the tickets. “He seemed annoyed that he didn’t get his card and had to wait,” said the witness. The hotel manager was very calm and then told Ofarim that he didn’t have to stay at the hotel. Ofarim then said he could make it public via Instagram and then it would go “bam, bam, viral” and he clapped his palms.
4:11 p.m.: “You always have the cards ready, can’t we get them?” That’s what the gentlemen standing behind the 63-year-old and her colleague asked. They would have said they were regulars. Ofarim then half turned around and, according to the witness, said in a strong voice: “We’re all standing here in line and waiting.”
Next witness in court – is it Ofarim?
4:09 p.m.: And the next witness. The colleague of the 58-year-old bank clerk. She also describes October 4th, 2021 at The Westin Hotel. She nudged her colleague to see if it wasn’t Ofarim. The colleague just shrugged his shoulder.
4:02 p.m.: After a few questions about the structure of the lobby in The Westin Hotel, the presiding judge released the 58-year-old from the witness stand.
3:56 p.m.: It starts earlier than expected! The defense currently has no questions for the witness.
3:46 p.m.: And another break. It should continue at 4 p.m.
3:45 p.m.: When asked by the public prosecutor, the witness explains again: It was not Ofarim who said that he would “drop a bombshell”. That was the wording of the witness.
Witness: Star of David necklace from Ofarim only seen later
3:43 p.m.: Now the public prosecutor is asking questions. It’s about the piece of jewelry, the Star of David, that Ofarim wore around his neck. The witness later saw the Star of David at Ofarim. But not at first. As far as the 58-year-old remembers, Ofarim did not initially open his jacket.
3:29 p.m.: The witness and Ofarim came to the two check-in counters almost at the same time. He heard the conversation between the hotel manager and Ofarim because Ofarim spoke louder. How long did the conversation between the two last? “60 to 90 seconds. “It may have been two minutes, but it was a relatively quick succession.” He heard that Ofarim didn’t need to check in when he talked about the hotel like that. He didn’t hear the hotel manager say he had to leave the hotel.
3:24 p.m.: According to the witness, Ofarim was wearing a leather jacket and had a guitar case and another suitcase with colorful stickers, as the witness describes. There were also a few excited voices in the queue.