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Accused paedophile guru Shanti faces trial from glass box

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Accused paedophile guru Shanti faces trial from glass box
Photo: DPA
13:47 CEST+02:00
A Bavarian spiritual guru known as Oliver Shanti went on trial in Munich on Wednesday for 314 charges of sexual assault against children.

The accused was shut off from the rest of the court in a glass box because of an antibiotic-resistant staph infection. The illness is highly contagious and could cause a life-threatening reaction in other people.

The singer, born Ulrich Schultz in Hamburg, is also suffering from Lymphoma.

Shanti has denied the charges brought against him, which allegedly occurred between 1985 and 1998 when he was the leader of a spiritual commune near Munich. He is said to have systematically abused the children of his followers.

“I've never abused children, I hold children very dearly,” the 60-year-old said.

Shanti's lawyer says the parents of the children, then between the ages of 10 and 11-years-old, were behind the case to exact financial revenge on Shanti.

“Our client is innocent,” he said before proceedings.

The lawyer claimed the parents are seeking their share of their former guru's record sales after they lived in the commune, which was set up as a new age music production studio. In 2002, Shanti reportedly made €10 million from his music.

Authorities arrested Shanti in Portugal in 2008 on an arrest warrant from 2002.

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