The man who has admitted carrying out a bomb attack on the Borussia Dortmund football team’s bus allegedly wanted to devalue the club on the stock market in a ploy to make hundreds of thousands of euros.
The German-Russian man, identified only as Sergei W, in accordance with German law, was attempting to plunge the club’s stock market value when he detonated three bombs, a court heard.
He admitted causing the blasts but denied trying to murder anyone on board.
Prosecutors said the 28-year-old electrical technician, who was staying at the same hotel as the players, could have made up to €500,000 (£441,000) if the share price of the club – the only German team listed on the stock exchange – had plunged but, instead, he made just €5,900 (£5,200).
The court was told he had intended to cash in on so-called ‘put options’, essentially betting on a falling share price. He bought the put options on the club’s shares on the day of the bombing.
In a statement handed to the court in the western German city, the man, who was arrested 10 days after the incident, insisted he did not intend to hurt or kill anyone and added: “I deeply regret my actions.”
But the triple blast in April left the bus’s windows shattered and 26-year-old Spanish centre-back Marc Bartra with a broken wrist and a police officer with inner ear damage.
Around 64 cigarette-sized metal bolts were used in the bombs, one of which was found lodged in Bartra’s headrest. The fragmentation devices also contained up to a kilogramme of a hydrogen peroxide mixture.
The man allegedly set off the bombs hidden in a hedge remotely as the team set off from the hotel for a Champions League game.
He reportedly drew the attention of hotel staff after insisting on a window room facing the front of the hotel and later calmly ordered steak from the hotel restaurant amid the chaos.
The alleged attacker is now facing 28 charges of attempted murder and setting of explosions and causing serious bodily harm.
If found guilty, he could face life in prison. Parole in Germany is usually granted after 15 years.
The trial is expected to run for a further 16 days.