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Lina E. between her defense lawyers in court

Photo: Jens Schlueter / AFP

The Higher Regional Court of Dresden has imposed several years in prison on the left-wing extremist Lina E. and three other defendants. It sentenced the 28-year-old to five years and three months in prison for membership in a criminal organization, among other things. The co-accused men received sentences ranging from two years and five months to three years and three months. They were found guilty of membership or support of a criminal organization.

With the verdict, the court remained below the demand of the Federal Prosecutor's Office, which had demanded eight years imprisonment for E. For the three co-accused men, the Federal Prosecutor's Office had requested between two years and nine months and three years and nine months in prison in the trial, which has been ongoing since September 2021.

Attacks on neo-Nazis with injured

The defense, on the other hand, had demanded acquittals. The trial was politically motivated and conducted in the wrong place. The mere fact that the GBA took over the investigation had led to higher criminal charges, they argued in their pleas. They saw their clients exposed to pre-conviction and accused federal prosecutors of applying different standards when convicting right-wing and left-wing offenders. The court was accused of being biased.

The defendants had been accused of several attacks on neo-Nazis or suspected supporters of the right-wing scene in Leipzig, Wurzen and Eisenach with serious injuries between 2018 and 2020. E. had been in custody since November 2020. The three other defendants were at large. Johann G., Lina E.'s fiancé, who is also said to have been involved in the crimes, has been in hiding since the summer of 2020.

»New Development in Left-Wing Extremism«

The Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution classifies the four convicts as "violent autonomists". According to a statement on the verdict, the head of the authority, Thomas Haldenwang, said: "The case exemplifies the high potential for violence and radicalization that prevails in parts of the left-wing extremist scene and in this form represents a new development in left-wing extremism."

In the left-wing scene, demonstrations were called for Lina E. and her comrades-in-arms. Supporters and sympathizers were already protesting loudly against the verdict in the courtroom. After the sentence was announced, the presiding judge, Hans Schlüter-Staats, interrupted the hearing because spectators chanted "fascist friends" and "shit class justice" to the judge's bench. Rallies are planned for Wednesday in Dresden and Leipzig. Protests were called nationwide for Saturday. Security authorities fear riots and want to be prepared with a large contingent of police.