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CRIME

Top German EADS exec held in insider trading probe

A former top Airbus executive and current head of a German EADS plant, Andreas Sperl, was held for questioning in France on Wednesday for alleged insider trading.

Top German EADS exec held in insider trading probe
A file photo of Andreas Sperl. Photo: DPA

Sources close to the case said the 61-year-old Sperl is one of 17 people, including four Germans, suspected by French stock market investigators of using inside knowledge about production delays at Airbus to make massive gains on share sales.

A former chief financial officer at Airbus, Sperl now heads a subsidiary EADS plant in the eastern German city of Dresden. He is the first serving top executive at the European Aeronautic Defence Space Company to be questioned in the probe.

He was being questioned by French financial investigators, who can hold him in custody for up to 48 hours, after which he could be brought before a judge to face possible charges, the sources said.

According to a report by France’s financial market regulator, AMF, Sperl sold 58,000 EADS shares in November 2005 and March 2006, earning €816,000 ($1.28 million), before Airbus revealed production delays with its A380 superjumbo.

The announcement in June 2006 of a six-month production delay on the new A380, the world’s largest airliner, threw EADS and its aircraft unit into crisis.

The former boss of Airbus, German Gustav Humbert, was charged by French authorities with insider trading on July 2.

Two French former EADS executives, Noel Forgeard and Jean-Paul Gut, have already been charged with the same offence. Forgeard and Gut have denied any wrongdoing, and Humbert’s lawyer has said that the accusations are unfounded.

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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