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Man found guilty of bashing Israeli teen

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Man found guilty of bashing Israeli teen
Alexander P., left, with his lawyer. Photo: DPA
16:26 CEST+02:00
A 20-year-old cook was found guilty Tuesday of beating an Israeli teenager while yelling ''Jewish swine'' in the Saxony-Anhalt town of Laucha.

Despite the accused man Alexander P.'s denial that the crime was anti-Semitic, Judge Martina Zufall found him guilty of assault and two counts of causing bodily harm. She gave him a suspended sentence of eight months' jail.

Zufall accepted the prosecution's case that Alexander P., who belonged to the far-right scene and had two previous convictions for causing bodily harm, had shouted ''Jewish swine'' during the assault on Noam Kohen, 17, at a bus stop on April 16.

She rejected Alexander P.'s claim that he was simply drunk and had been provoked.

“I flipped out in my severe state of drunkenness when I saw him because he offered my cousin drugs,” Alexander P. told the court in the town of Naumburg.

According to a June report in weekly newspaper Die Zeit, Alexander P. punched Kohen in the face without warning and yelled, “Go back where you came from, you Jewish pig!”

Kohen tried to flee but his attacker followed him, grabbed him by the jacket, threw him to the ground and continued punching and kicking him.

The case also appears to raise questions about whether bystanders did enough to intervene. Die Zeit reported that the police file recorded that six witnesses saw the attack and tried to stop Alexander P. “verbally” but did not physically intervene.

Alexander P. told the court that the crime had been seen by several witnesses and that he was acquainted with some of the people waiting at the bus stop.

“Of the others, no one dared approach me,” he said when asked whether anyone had intervened.

It was not until a driver stopped his car and intervened that Kohen, who moved from Israel to Laucha with his mother and brother eight years ago, escaped the assault.

The court closed the trial to the public after the accused gave evidence to protect the identities of minors giving evidence, including the victim.

State prosecutor Gudrun Anacker said the crime was motivated by anti-Semitism and called for an eight-month suspended sentence in juvenile detention, while the defence asked for a six-month suspended sentence.

Anacker also demanded a monetary fine that would go towards the Buchenwald concentration camp memorial.

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