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German court orders new assault trial for footballer Boateng

Former Bayern Munich defender Jerome Boateng. Photo: Christof Stache / AFP

A German court on Thursday threw out the assault conviction of footballer Jerome Boateng for attacking his ex-girlfriend in 2018 and ordered a new trial.

In a legal odyssey now on its third ruling, the superior regional court in Munich decided in favour of Boateng’s appeal, that of his alleged victim as well as state prosecutors’, citing procedural errors.

“The responsible tribunal will begin again with the taking of evidence,” the court said in a statement. 

If it sides with the plaintiff, the new court could level a more severe sentence than the 1.2-million-euro ($1.3-million) fine Boateng was ordered to pay in November 2022.

Boateng was found guilty in 2021 of assaulting and insulting his former partner, the mother of his twin daughters, during a Caribbean holiday five years ago.

The footballer had always denied the allegations and sought an acquittal on appeal.

The district court in Munich confirmed he was guilty last November but reduced the original fine — calculated according to the accused’s net income — to 1.2 million euros from 1.8 million euros.

During the initial trial, Boateng’s former partner told the court that Germany’s 2014 World Cup winner had punched her, causing her to lose her breath for a moment during a heated argument.

The incident happened in the weeks after the World Cup in Russia, when Boateng was in the Germany squad which was knocked out in the group stage.

Boateng’s former partner described how he “pressed against my eye with his thumb, bit me in the head and pulled me to the floor by my hair”.

She said the now 35-year-old repeatedly insulted her and hit her on the back with “one strong punch and several light punches”.

In the latest appeals, the Munich court agreed with Boateng’s legal team that one of its challenges for bias had been unfairly decided with the involvement of a judge it had already rejected. 

However it also ruled in favour of the plaintiff and prosecutors who argued that the sentence the lower court had imposed for Boateng throwing a cooler bag at his then partner had been too light.   

Boateng played for German giants Bayern Munich for a decade before signing with France’s Lyon in 2021. He is currently without a club.

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