Dortmund bombing suspect: I didn't intend to hurt anyone

BY AP • January 8, 2018

BERLIN (AP) The suspect in last year's bombing of a German soccer team's bus testified Monday that he carried out the attack on Borussia Dortmund but didn't 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 and a police officer were injured when three explosions hit the team's bus as it left a hotel in the city of Dortmund for a Champions League game on April 11.

Prosecutors allege that W. took out a loan to place a bet that Borussia Dortmund's shares would drop in value, then bombed the bus and tried to disguise the attack as Islamic terrorism. Dortmund is the only German soccer club whose shares are listed on the stock exchange.

The blasts shattered a window of the bus and hit Bartra with shrapnel, leaving the team without the Spanish defender for about a month after he had to undergo surgery on a broken bone in his wrist.

The defendant testified Monday that he was trying to fake an attack and designed the explosives in such a way ''that no harm to people could be expected,'' German news agency dpa reported.

''I didn't want to hurt or seriously hurt anyone, and I certainly didn't want to kill anyone,'' Sergej W., a German citizen who came to the country from Russia at 13.

The suspect was arrested 10 days after the attack.

''I deeply regret my behavior,'' he told the Dortmund state court. ''I can't explain it myself.''

Defense lawyer Carl Heydrenreich said the defendant felt like his life was pointless early last year when his girlfriend wanted to break up with him. Heydrenreich said his client had sought to stage a 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,'' he said.

The team's shares did slide slightly after the attack, but quickly recovered.

Alfons Becker, a lawyer representing Borussia Dortmund's players, said the claim that the defendant only wanted to simulate an attack was ''not plausible.''

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