Borussia Dortmund bus bombing trial to start in December

The trial of a 28-year-old German-Russian man accused of carrying out a bomb attack on Borussia Dortmund's team bus is set to begin on Dec. 21, Dortmund's regional court has announced.

The defendant, identified only as Sergej W. in keeping with German privacy law, has been charged with 28 counts of attempted murder, causing an explosion and two counts of serious bodily harm following the attack on BVB's team bus ahead of a Champions League match at home to Monaco in April.

Prosecutors say the defendant hoped to profit from a drop in the football club's share price as a result of the attack. In the act of indictment released to the public in early September, it was said that Sergej W. could have made a maximum profit of €506,275.

If convicted, the suspect faces a life sentence, which under German law means he could be granted parole after 15 years or 17 years.

The court said the trial is due to take place on 18 days spread out over several months, with a verdict expected at the end of March.

On April 11, three explosions had rocked the Borussia Dortmund team bus as the players and staff travelled to the Westfalenstadion for their Champions League match against Monaco, which was postponed to the following day.

Dortmund defender Marc Bartra sustained an injury requiring surgery on a broken bone on his wrist, while a motorcycle police officer accompanying the team bus suffered an ear blast injury.

The defendant was arrested in the southern state of Baden-Wurrtemberg near Tubingen 10 days after the attack.

According to the act of indictment, Sergej W. had taken out a loan days before the attack and bet a total of €44,300 in put options and other financial transactions on the collapse of BVB's stocks following the attack.

The act of indictment added that, following the attack, the defendant sold the put options and made a total profit of €5,827.05.

On the day of the attack, investigators found notes at the scene claiming responsibility on behalf of Islamic extremists but doubted their authenticity.

Sergej W. came to the attention of investigators because he made "suspicious options purchases" for shares in Borussia Dortmund, the only top-flight German club listed on the stock exchange, on the same day as the April 11 attack.