On the fourth day of the defamation trial against musician Gil Ofarim at the Leipzig regional court, a digital forensics expert testified as a witness. He analyzed surveillance camera videos down to the smallest detail and his results refuted one of the artist’s central claims. Additional witnesses in Ofarim’s trial testified before the digital forensics expert on Wednesday.
In the trial against Jewish musician Gil Ofarim for defamation and false accusations, an important statement by the artist was contradicted on Wednesday. Mittweida digital forensics expert Dirk Labudde stated in his report that from the time he entered the lobby until he left the hotel no chain with the Star of David was seen.
According to the expert, the chain with the Star of David was only visible when Ofarim recorded the Instagram video in front of the hotel. To do this, the digital forensic expert evaluated the surveillance camera recordings in an exhaustive process. The expert’s statements will continue on Thursday. It is also about the behavior of those involved in the hotel lobby.
digital forensics* Digital or IT forensics is still a relatively new area of work.
* This is the scientific consideration of a topic with the help of information technologies.
* Dirk Labudde is the director of the first German bachelor’s program “General and Digital Forensic Science” at the University of Mittweida.
Surveillance videos are real: manipulation is unthinkable
During the trial, a technician also ruled out manipulation of the hotel’s surveillance videos. On police instructions, he took the original data from the system a few days after the incident at the Westin hotel in Leipzig, a security technician at the Leipzig regional court said on Wednesday. “Manipulation is unthinkable,” stresses the 51-year-old.
Video recordings presented as evidence.
In addition to him as administrator, some hotel employees also had access to the server room with the video recordings, the technician explained. As a self-employed businessman, he installed the system in the hotel about 15 years ago. Numerous surveillance video recordings were shown on Wednesday. There are no sound recordings.
Defense criticizes internal hotel investigations
The defense criticized the fact that these recordings had already been shown to witnesses during the hotel’s internal investigations before the police investigation. However, when asked, the security technician was unable to say how and when this could have happened. He couldn’t tell that someone had accessed the system data before him.
In principle, hotel employees can view and save the videos in advance. However, the security technician could not confirm or rule out that this also happened, he said.
More witnesses were interviewed on Tuesday. Some of them contradicted the singer’s version of having been subjected to anti-Semitic insults at the Leipzig hotel. It was said that they had not experienced the incident described. There were similar witness statements during the first two days of the trial.
Gil Ofarim claimed in an Instagram video in October 2021 that he had been subjected to anti-Semitic insults in the lobby of the “Westin” hotel. Prosecutors initially investigated a hotel manager, but later stopped the investigation. Ofarim must now answer in court for alleged defamation, false suspicion and fraud.
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This topic on the program:MDR SACHSEN – Sachsen radio | News | November 15, 2023 | 16:00