Trial against Gil Ofarim begins at the Leipzig regional court

More than two years after Gil Ofarim made anti-Semitism allegations against a hotel employee in Leipzig, the defamation trial against the musician begins. Great public interest is expected at the start of the trial at the Leipzig Regional Court on Tuesday. Ofarim’s allegations caused a stir at the time and are currently given particular weight given the war in the Middle East.

Ofarim is accused of making false allegations of anti-Semitism against an employee of the Leipzig Hotel “Westin”. On October 5, 2021, the musician described in a video shared on social networks that he was asked by a hotel employee when checking in to take off a necklace with a Star of David.

Read more about it here: Charges against singer – Gil Ofarim case: Video analysis shows what happened in the hotel lobby

The video made waves at the time. The public prosecutor’s office is convinced that the incident described by Ofarim did not actually happen. Because the musician later repeated his allegations to the police and reported them, he now has to answer for false suspicion and slander.

After the musician’s accusations, the Westin initiated an investigation by a law firm, which, according to the hotel, exonerated the employee in question. After months of investigation, the Leipzig public prosecutor’s office also came to the conclusion that the incident described by the 41-year-old did not happen and that his allegations were deliberately “untruthful”.

Investigations against the hotel employee have been discontinued

Ofarim, who lives in Munich, was charged in March 2022. However, the investigations against the hotel employee were discontinued. He is taking part in the trial as a co-plaintiff.

Aside from the defamation allegations, Ofarim is also charged with making false statements under oath. The background to this is two applications for the issuance of interim injunctions intended to prohibit press publications. In it, Ofarim is said to have falsely sworn that he had not said that the video he had created should “go viral”. The public prosecutor considers this to be untrue.

More on the subject: Charges after the hotel scandal in Leipzig – The public prosecutor defends himself after allegations from Gil Ofarim’s lawyers

The fact that the charges were not brought before the local court, as is usual for such allegations, but at the regional court was justified by the great public interest. Ofarim’s lawyers spoke in advance of a “show trial”. They announced that the defense would “turn over every stone twice” before the Leipzig regional court.

More than 20 witnesses have been invited to the Ofarim trial

Ten days of trial were initially scheduled until December 7th for the proceedings, in which more than 20 witnesses were called.

The process was originally supposed to begin a good year ago, but was postponed at short notice. The regional court justified this at the time, among other things, with an application for damages submitted at short notice by the co-plaintiff and outstanding decisions on legal remedies lodged by the defense.

Gil Ofarim is the son of Israeli singer Abi Ofarim, who died in 2018. The 41-year-old appeared in front of the camera in several television films and series and released various music productions.

Hank Peter

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