Dortmund - A
Russian-born German man who launched a shrapnel bomb attack on the team
bus of football club Borussia Dortmund last year, wounding two people,
faces his verdict and sentence on Tuesday.
Sergej Wenergold, 29, had hoped to profit financially from the attack
by betting on an anticipated plunge in the club's stock market value,
The court in the western city of Dortmund will have to decide whether
he is guilty of 28 counts of attempted murder, which would carry a
maximum term of life in prison.
The trained electrician also faces charges of causing an explosion
and two counts of causing serious injury, as the blasts wounded Spanish
defender Marc Bartra and a police officer on a motorcycle.
After an 11-month trial, justice Peter Windgaetter was expected to announce the verdict around 14:00 local time.
Wenergold had stayed in the same hotel as the team when he launched
the attack on April 11, 2017 as the bus was heading for a Champions'
League match against Monaco.
He had hidden in a hedge three explosive devices, each of which
contained up to a kilogramme (2.2 pounds) of a hydrogen peroxide mixture
and about 65 cigarette-sized metal bolts.
Wenergold had left letters suggesting an Islamist terrorist motive at
the scene, sparking initial alarm about a possible jihadist attack.
Wenergold's defence lawyer
Carl Heydenreich said his client had hoped to spark panic and terror,
not to wound or kill people, and asked for lenient punishment well below
10 years' prison.
Heydenreich blamed the defendant's "narcissistic personality" and
told the court Wenergold had wanted to "commit the perfect crime to
please his ego - he wanted the gains without doing harm".
Prosecutors called this claim "nonsense" and argued that the defendant had aimed to kill as many players as possible.
Wenergold had bought put options and contracts worth some $29 000 - essentially a bet on the club's share price falling - and had hoped to gain half a million euros, said prosecutors.
The defendant reportedly drew attention to himself at the hotel,
first by insisting on a window room facing the front and then, in the
chaos after the blasts, by calmly walking into its restaurant to order a
Police arrested Wenergold 10 days after the attack.
Several players of Borussia Dortmund, the current Bundesliga leaders,
gave emotional testimony during the trial about the trauma they
A day after the attack, Dortmund played their postponed game against
Monaco and lost, prompting then coach Thomas Tuchel to rail against UEFA
for not giving the players time to come to terms with their fear before
returning to the pitch.
Wenergold, who confessed to the attack in January, voiced his regret
last week when he told the court: "I would like to apologise to
If found guilty, Wenergold faces a maximum term of life in prison, although in Germany parole is usually granted after 15 years.