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CRIME

Inmate escapes German prison in cardboard box

Authorities in Willich have asked for clues in the escape of a 37-year-old inmate who managed to hide himself in a cardboard box picked up by a delivery truck last week.

Inmate escapes German prison in cardboard box
Photo: Kreispolizeibehörde Viersen

Yasar Bayrack, who also goes by the alias of Ibrahim Yasin, is a Turkish national who was serving time for narcotics violations at the JVA Willich I prison near Düsseldorf when he made his wily escape, investigators in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia reported. He remains at large and police have no leads regarding his whereabouts.

“He succeeded in hiding himself in a box that was picked up with other boxes from the prison,” a police statement said. Bayrack then apparently opened the box and fled the delivery truck unnoticed. His escape was only discovered when the truck driver noticed the truck wasn’t properly closed and called the prison.

The prisoner is about 185 centimetres tall, bald, and has a goatee. He was dressed in blue work pants and a white t-shirt.

Witnesses are asked to report clues to Viersen police at 02162/377-0.

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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