Acquittal German pastor Latzel must be reviewed, says Court


Central Europe


Pastor Olaf Latzel. Photo RD, Arie de Heer

The legal battle around Bremen pastor Olaf Latzel will continue. Even though Latzel was acquitted by the District Court last year, the verdict must be reviewed, the Higher Regional Court ruled on Thursday. His lawyer is surprised.

With this new ruling, the Higher Regional Court follows the public prosecutor who asked for an appeal in the case after the Bremen District Court acquitted pastor Latzel from all his charges in May 2022. The judge argued that the reasons for the judgement of the District Court were incomplete because they did not contain any significant statements from the controversial event that brought Latzel to court, Katholisch.de writes.


The pastor from the Protestant St. Martini Church in Bremen was brought before the court because he was accused of homophobic hate speech during a marriage seminar published on YouTube. That was reported earlier by CNE.news. During the seminar, he had said that homosexuality was a “degenerative form of society”, had warned against the gay lobby, and had called the LGBT community criminals. Furthermore, he referred to it as “gender filth, which attacks God's order of creation and is deeply diabolical and satanic”, Evangelische Zeitung writes.

Appellate Chamber

The Higher Regional Court of Bremen returns the case to the District Court for review. There, it must be reinstated by another Appellate Chamber, Evangelische Zeitung writes.

Latzel's lawyer expressed surprise about the judgement of the Higher Regional court, Buten un Binnen writes. He had not expected the judge to overturn the acquittal. Latzel himself did not want to comment.

It is unclear when the review of the court case will start. According to the defence, this could take a few months.



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