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CRIME

Italy arrests eight connected to Duisburg mob massacre

The investigation into the Mafia shootings of six Italian men in Duisburg nine months ago netted eight arrests in Italy on Friday, according to reports in Italian media.

Italy arrests eight connected to Duisburg mob massacre
A man peers in the restaurant where six were shot.Photo: DPA

Among those arrested in coordinated actions in the Calabria region of southern Italy and in northern Italy were the wife and sister of mob boss Francesco Vottari.

None of the suspects arrested on Friday are accused of participating in the brutal shootings on August 15 of six men, aged 16 to 38, in front of an Italian restaurant in Duisburg, a city in the German region of North Rhine-Westphalia.

But those arrested are accused of belonging to the mafia and trafficking weapons and explosives in the southern Italian town of San Luca, a stronghold of the Italian organized crime confederation ‘Ndrangheta, and in Germany, according to a report in the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera.

The group’s German dealings were said to have taken place mostly in Duisburg and the neighboring city of Kaarst.

Five of the men shot in Duisburg were from San Luca. The motive for the shooting is believed to have been revenge: the wife of a rival crime clan leader had been shot, and her son injured, around Christmas 2006 in San Luca.

CRIME

German man jailed for killing petrol station worker in mask row

A 50-year-old German man was jailed for life Tuesday for shooting dead a petrol station cashier because he was angry about being told to wear a mask while buying beer.

German man jailed for killing petrol station worker in mask row

The September 2021 murder in the western town of Idar-Oberstein shocked Germany, which saw a vocal anti-mask and anti-vaccine movement emerge in response to the government’s coronavirus restrictions.

The row started when 20-year-old student worker Alex W. asked the man to put on a mask inside the shop, as required in all German stores at the time.

After a brief argument, the man left.

The perpetrator – identified only as Mario N. – returned about an hour and a half later, this time wearing a mask. But as he bought his six-pack of beer to the till, he took off his mask and another argument ensued.

He then pulled out a revolver and shot the cashier in the head point-blank.

On Tuesday, the district court in Bad-Kreuznach convicted Mario N. of murder and unlawful possession of a firearm, and handed him a life sentence.

READ ALSO: Shock in Germany after cashier shot dead in Covid mask row

Under German law, people given a life sentence can usually seek parole after 15 years. His defence team had sought a sentence of manslaughter, rather than murder.

At the start of the trial, prosecutor Nicole Frohn told how Mario N. had felt increasingly angry about the measures imposed to curb the pandemic, seeing them as an infringement on his rights.

“Since he knew he couldn’t reach the politicians responsible, he decided to kill him (Alex W.),” she said.

Mario N. turned himself in to police the day after the shooting.

German has relaxed most of its coronavirus rules, although masks are still required in some settings, such as public transport.

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