Saxony-Anhalt: hostage-taking: Halle assassin wanted to leave prison

The Halle assassin wanted to force his release by taking hostages in prison.

Saxony-Anhalt: hostage-taking: Halle assassin wanted to leave prison

The Halle assassin wanted to force his release by taking hostages in prison. The State Ministry of Justice announced on Tuesday in Magdeburg that this can be concluded from the statements made during the crime. The 30-year-old was injured, but not seriously.

He used the lock-in time before the night on Monday evening around 9:00 p.m. and forced an employee with an object that has not yet been specified to take him to the outside area. He then tried to force another employee to open more doors. Finally, he was overpowered by eight prison officers.

Saxony-Anhalt's Minister of Justice Franziska Weidinger (CDU) emphasized the good interaction between the employees. They acted calmly and prudently. The Halle assassin was closely monitored and checked during his detention.

The Halle assassin Stephan Balliet was sentenced to life imprisonment and subsequent preventive detention on December 21, 2020. He is serving his sentence in Burg prison. It is the largest and most modern high-security prison in Saxony-Anhalt.

Attempted escape in summer 2020

Balliet is considered an uncooperative and difficult prisoner. Already on the Pentecost weekend of 2020, as a defendant in the Halle trial, he had tried to escape from Halle JVA. During a yard walk, he climbed a 12-foot fence and spent five minutes unsupervised looking for a way out of prison before court officials caught him again.

On October 9, 2019, the right-wing extremist assassin tried to storm the synagogue in Halle on Yom Kippur, the highest Jewish holiday, and to cause a massacre. He threw incendiary and explosive devices and shot at the access door. When he was unable to get onto the premises, he murdered a 40-year-old passer-by in front of the synagogue and a 20-year-old in a nearby kebab shop. He injured other people while fleeing.

According to the Ministry of Justice, the prison in Burg, not far from Autobahn 2, has 637 places in closed prisons, and 18 places are also reserved for preventive detention.

Clarification is required

Meanwhile, the first calls for clarification and the elimination of weaknesses in the prison were heard. "The world is looking at Saxony-Anhalt and the state government has a special responsibility and must act very carefully," said Eva von Angern, leader of the Left Party. Minister of Justice Franziska Weidinger (CDU) must do everything to ensure that the current incident is processed and weaknesses are remedied.

The parliamentary director of the Greens parliamentary group, Sebastian Striegel, urged the legal committee of the state parliament to meet as soon as possible. "We now have to get secure information quickly," he told the German Press Agency. He was "extremely concerned" that after the assassin's attempt to break out of the Halle prison and an attempted attack in the court after the verdict was announced, the prisoner had again caused "a serious security incident".