(JTA) — The German man suspected of killing two people near a synagogue on Yom Kippur has confessed to the attack and said that he had anti-Semitic and far-right motives, the German federal prosecutor’s officer said.
Stephan Balliet, 27, made a “very comprehensive” confession during an hours-long interrogation, according to a spokesman for the federal prosecutor’s office in Karlsruhe, who spoke to reporters on Friday. “He confirmed far-right and anti-Semitic motives” for the attack, the spokesman also said, the AFP news agency reported.
Despite the guilty plea, Balliet still will stand trial for the attack last week, on a synagogue in the city of Halle, in central Germany. He tried to enter the synagogue with explosives but was stymied by its locked doors. He then turned his gunfire on a woman outside and a man in a nearby kebab shop, killing both.
It is not clear how his confession will affect sentencing in his case, which is being treated as a terrorist attack.
He also reportedly told investigators that he received approximately $800 from an anonymous online donor prior to the attack.
The German publication Der Spiegel reported Friday that Balliet had received the money in the form of the cryptocurrency Bitcoin from an unknown person with whom he communicated on the internet, according to his defense attorney Hans-Dieter Weber.
Weber also told the publication that Balliet denied being a neo-Nazi in his interrogation by German authorities. Balliet claimed to have acted alone and made the weapons used in the attack himself from cheap materials.
German Synagogue Attacker Admits Anti-Semitic Motive