Marc Bartra, a defender for German football club Borussia Dortmund (BVB), testified on Monday as a witness in a trial against a German-Russian man suspected of detonating three bombs targeting the soccer team’s bus last year.
Bartra was injured in the attack shortly before the start of a Champions League match with AS Monaco.
A 28-year-old man, identified as Sergei W., has been charged with 28 counts of attempted murder for detonating the roadside bombs in a plan to reap profit when the club’s share price dropped. He could face life imprisonment if convicted.
Alfons Becker, the lawyer for BVB said attending the trial was difficult for Bartra who confronted the suspect for the first time on Monday.
“He (Bartra) had not been prepared for that. I told him in the preparatory discussion that the accused would be there. That shook him,” Becker said.
In a summary of Bartra’s testimony released by the court, he was quoted as saying he feared for his life and that he would never see his family again.
Dortmund’s state court spokesman said the player’s testimony was important for the court to decide on its sentence.
“The results of the crime, particularly in this case the physical and psychological damage of actual or potential victims, are important for the sentencing,” the spokesman said.
The club striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was due to testify on Monday as well but he did not show up at the trial because he was ill, BVB lawyer said.