German-Afghan jailed for knifing rabbi in Frankfurt

A court in Frankfurt sentenced a German man of Afghan origin to three and a half years for a knife attack on a rabbi in Frankfurt last September.

German-Afghan jailed for knifing rabbi in Frankfurt
The German-Afghan man identified as Said A. Photo: DPA

The 23-year-old Said A. knifed the 42-year-old Rabbi Zalman Gurevitch in the stomach after shouting, “I’m going to stab you, you damn Jew,” according to witnesses.

Prosecutors had originally intended to charge the man with attempted manslaughter but pursued charges of grievous bodily harm instead, due to lack of evidence. They had asked the court for four years.

The Afghan man admitted the deed before the trial, and his defence team pled for three years in jail.

Gurevitch’s lawyer contended throughout the trial that there was enough proof for a case of attempted manslaughter. But an uninvolved witness told the court during the trial that the attack had been preceded by a scuffle started by the rabbi.


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.