Gil Ofarim has filed charges of “false suspicion”

After allegations of defamation
Gil Ofarim has filed charges of “false suspicion”

The singer Gil Ofarim

© Tobias Hase / DPA

The employee of a hotel in Leipzig is said to have insulted the singer Gil Ofarim in an anti-Semitic manner. The accused speaks of slander. Ofarim defends himself.

The musician Gil Ofarim defends himself against the accusation of a hotel employee who accuses him of defamation. The 39-year-old has reported criminal charges for “false suspicion”, as the Leipzig Public Prosecutor did star confirmed. At first he had “Tagesspiegel” reported on the process. According to a spokesman for the Leipzig public prosecutor’s office, the criminal complaint had already been filed during Ofarim’s interrogation a few days ago and has apparently only now been made public.

The singer described in a video at the beginning of October that an employee of “The Westin Leipzig” had asked him to remove his chain with a Star of David. Ofarim then filed an initial complaint. The accused hotel employee responded with a charge of defamation. Ofarim, son of the Israeli musician Abi Ofarim (1937-2018), thereupon filed a criminal complaint for “false suspicion”.

According to the Criminal Code (Section 164) the offense of false suspicion is punished with a prison sentence of up to five years or a fine.

Investigations are ongoing

The Leipzig public prosecutor’s office has received several reports on the incident. “Our investigations are unaffected by the results of the hotel investigations and continue,” said a spokesman on Wednesday. In the past few days, the public prosecutor’s office had already announced that they were evaluating several videos from surveillance cameras in the hotel. The evaluation has not yet been completed, so no information can be given about the content, it said.

The background to this is media reports that surveillance videos may raise questions about the events described by Ofarim. Accordingly, the chain with the Star of David should not have been clearly visible on the hotel’s surveillance cameras. The media had also referred to investigators.

Ofarim himself had repeatedly emphasized that he had worn the Star of David in the hotel. “I wore my chain – as always. I also wear it on social networks or when performing, so I was attacked,” he told the German press agency.

Leipzig hotel ends investigations

The Leipzig hotel concerned has completed its own investigations and does not want to take any action against the accused employee. Specialized lawyers had reconstructed what was happening in the hotel lobby and came to the conclusion, “taking into account all available evidence”, that there were no “objectifiable” indications that would justify criminal or labor law action against the employee. This was announced by the operator of “The Westin Leipzig”, the hotel company Gerberstrasse Betriebs GmbH, on Wednesday.

On 118 pages, the law firm summarized the investigations for which it questioned guests, the accused employee, other employees and witnesses. In addition, the public prosecutor’s office had given access to files relating to the interrogation of witnesses who only wanted to speak to the investigating authorities. A specialized expert prepared an expert opinion on video recordings and examined them for possible manipulation.

“We have therefore decided that appropriate measures will not be taken against the employee,” said a statement. Since the employee is still exposed to massive hostility, he will initially not fully perform his duties again “from a welfare point of view”.

The hotel does not want to comment on the allegations. The labor law instruction was issued to all employees not to make any further statements to the media.

fs / with material from the DPA news agency

source site