The Halle regional court has sentenced AfD politician Björn Höcke to a fine of 13,000 euros. His lawyers filed for an appeal just one day after the verdict.

One day after the Halle Regional Court’s ruling, the lawyers of AfD politician Björn Höcke applied for an appeal. This was confirmed by court spokeswoman Dr. Adina Kessler-Jensch told “Bild”. This means that the judgment will not be legally valid as of next week.

On Tuesday, after four days of negotiations, the regional court considered it proven that Thuringia’s AfD leader Höcke knowingly used a slogan of the SA (Storm Department) of the NSDAP in a speech in Merseburg, Saxony-Anhalt, in May 2021. The presiding judge explained that Höcke wanted to test limits. The court therefore decided that the 52-year-old had to pay 100 daily rates of 130 euros each. Höcke had rejected the allegations against him until the end.

If the prosecution or defense appeal, the case would go to the Federal Court of Justice. However, this would then only check the verdict for violations of the law, explained the spokeswoman for the Halle regional court, Adina Kessler-Jensch. “So no more evidence will be collected or anything like that.”

If the verdict against Höcke becomes final, he would be considered a criminal record. As a general rule, you always have a criminal record if you have been legally convicted – no matter how high the punishment is.

This would then also be entered in the Federal Central Register, said Kessler-Jensch. All final criminal convictions by German courts are recorded in this register. It is used to document a person’s previous convictions and to be able to provide information about them in new criminal proceedings.

However, according to the Federal Central Register Act, an entry in the police clearance certificate is only made if the fine exceeds 90 daily rates – provided there are no further entries in the central register. In Höcke’s case – if the judgment becomes final – this would mean an entry in both the Federal Central Register and the certificate of good conduct.

Before the verdict was announced on Tuesday, one of Höcke’s lawyers said that the defense would “take the matter to the top” if a penalty was imposed on Höcke. According to the lawyer, the AfD man’s defense wants to go to the European Court of Justice if necessary. The judgment contradicts the concept of freedom of expression.

In its final speech, the public prosecutor’s office demanded a suspended sentence of six months and a fine of 10,000 euros for Höcke.

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AfD man Björn Höcke is to pay a fine of 13,000 euros for using a banned SA slogan. When you look at Höcke’s finances, it becomes clear: the amount should not hurt the AfD man much. Something else, however, does.