Monday 24 September 2018

Dortmund bomb suspect 'didn't want to kill anyone'

The German-Russian suspect, known only as Sergej W, arrives for his trial in Dortmund Photo: BERND THISSEN/AFP/Getty Images
The German-Russian suspect, known only as Sergej W, arrives for his trial in Dortmund Photo: BERND THISSEN/AFP/Getty Images

Klaus Voorman

The man suspected of bombing German football team Borussia Dortmund's bus last year has admitted he carried out the attack, but claims he did not intend to kill or hurt anyone.

The 28-year-old suspect, identified only as Sergej W in line with German privacy rules, is charged with 28 counts of attempted murder, two counts of bodily harm and setting off an explosion. His trial opened last month.

Dortmund defender Marc Bartra Photo: Mike Egerton/PA Wire
Dortmund defender Marc Bartra Photo: Mike Egerton/PA Wire

Dortmund defender Marc Bartra and a police officer were injured when three explosions hit the team's bus as it left a hotel in Dortmund for a Champions League game on April 11.

The defendant told the Dortmund state court that he was trying to fake an attack and designed the explosives in such a way "that no harm to people could be expected".

Sergej W, a German national who came to the country from Russia at the age of 13, said: "I didn't want to hurt or seriously hurt anyone, and I certainly didn't want to kill anyone."

Prosecutors allege that W took out a loan to place a bet that Borussia Dortmund's shares would drop in value, then bombed the team coach and attempted to disguise the attack as Islamic terrorism.

Dortmund is the only German club whose shares are listed on the stock exchange.

The suspect was arrested 10 days after the attack.

"I deeply regret my behaviour," he told the court. "I can't explain it myself."

Defence lawyer Carl Heydrenreich said the defendant felt like his life was pointless early last year, when his girlfriend wanted to break up with him.

Mr Heydrenreich said his client had sought to stage a realistic simulation of an attack to profit from a falling Dortmund stock price.

"He wanted to leave his parents something in case he departed this life," Mr Heydenreich said.

Alfons Becker, a lawyer representing football club's players, said the claim that the defendant had only wanted to simulate an attack on the coach was "not plausible".

Irish Independent

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