Suspect in German soccer bus bombing says he never meant to hurt people

The suspect in the bombing last year of a German soccer team’s bus said in court Monday that he carried out the attack, but had no intention of killing or injuring anyone.

Damage is visible on the right side of the bus of Germany's Dortmund Borussia soccer team, where homemade bombs exploded on April 11, 2017. File Photo by Friedermann Vohl/EPA
Damage is visible on the right side of the bus of Germany’s Dortmund Borussia soccer team, where homemade bombs exploded on April 11, 2017. File Photo by Friedermann Vohl/EPA

The man, identified only as Sergej W., is charged with 28 counts of attempted murder, attempts to commit bodily harm and setting off an explosion.

Marc Batra, a player on the Dortmund Borussia professional soccer team, who was aboard the team bus, was injured when three explosions struck as the team left Dortmund last April 11. A police officer was also injured.

In court Monday, the 28-year-old suspect expressed regret but said the homemade explosives were designed in a way that “no harm to people could be expected.”

The bus was damaged in the blast, and the suspect was arrested 10 days later.

Prosecutors said Sergej W. took out a loan to bet that shares in Dortmund Borussia, the only German professional team whose shares are listed on public stock exchanges, would decline in value after the bombing. They added that he attempted to disguise the attack as Islamist terrorism.

If convicted, Sergey W. faces a life sentence.

By Ed Adamczyk