Pastor Olaf Latzel © Sina Schuldt
Following the verdict of the local court in Bremen against the Protestant pastor Olaf Latzel, the defense files an appeal. The clergyman had been convicted of sedition the previous week.
The Bremen district court is deciding on the appeal, said Cosima Freter, spokeswoman for the district court, to the Evangelical Press Service (epd). The pastor of the Protestant St.-Martini congregation in Bremen was sentenced last Wednesday for incitement of the people to a prison sentence of three months, commuted to a fine of 90 daily sentences of 90 euros each. (Az: 96 Ds 225 Js 26577/20)
The presiding judge, Ellen Best, thus remained below the prosecution's demand for a sentence of four months. The defense had pleaded for acquittal. In explaining the sentence, Judge Best said Latzel had incited hatred against homosexuals in a "marriage seminar" distributed on Youtube.
Case to be reopened in appeal hearing
The 53-year-old had addressed 30 couples in a "biblical driving school on marriage" in October 2019. A recording of this was posted in March with his consent on his YouTube channel with nearly 25.000 subscribers put online. During the seminar, he warned, among other things, that homosexuality was a "degenerative form of society" and that "criminals from Christopher Street Day are running around everywhere".
Shortly after the verdict was pronounced, defense attorney Sascha Bottner had complained that the court had not called any witnesses from the marriage seminar. The prosecution had not filed an appeal by Tuesday morning, the deadline for which is Wednesday (2. December) from. In an appeal hearing, a case is completely reopened. Witnesses will be heard and the defendant will be questioned again.