The Thuringian AfD politician Björn Höcke has to pay 100 daily rates of 130 euros each, a total of 13,000 euros, as a penalty following a ruling by the Halle Regional Court this Tuesday. In the chamber’s opinion, in May 2021 he knowingly used the banned slogan of the Sturmabteilung (SA) of the NSDAP, “Everything for Germany”, in a speech and was therefore guilty of using the symbols of unconstitutional and terrorist organizations.

With the verdict, is the right-winger considered to have a criminal record? Not for the time being, because the judgment is not yet legally binding. An appeal before the Federal Court of Justice in Karlsruhe is possible. In this case, the Halle judgment could be checked for legal errors and, under certain circumstances, overturned. The prosecution and defense have one week to file an appeal. At least the public prosecutor’s office announced after the verdict that it would examine the appeal.

However, if both sides refrain from taking action against the verdict or the appeal is rejected, the verdict against Björn Höcke would become legally binding – and he would therefore officially have a criminal record. In Germany, anyone who has been legally sentenced to a fine of at least 90 daily rates is considered to be such. In these cases, according to the Federal Central Register Act, an entry is made in the certificate of good conduct.

However, if there were a successful appeal in Höcke’s case, the matter would be renegotiated. Until a final verdict comes out of this main hearing, the AfD politician would still not have a criminal record – but could do so afterwards.

In addition, the 52-year-old history teacher may have to face another criminal trial in Halle. At an appearance last year, he is said to have shouted “Everything for…” during a speech in order to have the audience end the slogan with “… Germany”. In addition, the Mühlhausen regional court has approved an indictment against Höcke on charges of incitement to hatred. He is said to have denigrated Muslims on Telegram in the context of reporting on a violent act.

Sources: Federal Central Register Act, DPA news agency and AFP