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Couple charged with helping Passau neo-Nazi murder suspect

A couple picked up by police this week for questioning regarding the neo-Nazi stabbing attack on the Passau police chief have been arrested on suspicion of assisting the assailant.

Couple charged with helping Passau neo-Nazi murder suspect
Photo: DPA

The 33-year-old man and 22-year-old woman had originally not been considered suspects in the attempted murder of police chief Alois Mannichl last weekend.

However, late Wednesday night a court ordered the two be arrested and held for helping the man who stabbed Mannichl as he opened his front door on Saturday.

Police also released a new description of the suspect, whom they believe to be part of Bavaria neo-Nazi scene. The man is thought to be between 25 and 35 years old, approximately 1.90 metres tall, and he speaks with a Bavarian accent that could possibly have an Austrian lilt.

Mannichl reportedly answered his front door on Saturday to a tall skinhead at around 5:30 pm. The man said something along the lines of “Greetings from the national resistance,” and said, “You leftist pig cop, you won’t trample on the graves of our comrades any more,” before stabbing Mannichl in the stomach with a 12-centimetre knife.

He then threw the knife away in the garden and ran to a waiting car in a nearby street and was driven away.

The 52-year-old police chief was seriously wounded, but is now recovering from the attack.

OKTOBERFEST

IN PICTURES: First weekend of Munich’s Oktoberfest sees around 700,000 visitors

Around 700,000 people braved the wet and cold weather to attend the first weekend of the Oktoberfest beer festival in Munich, according to estimates by festival management.

IN PICTURES: First weekend of Munich's Oktoberfest sees around 700,000 visitors

That is significantly less than the around one million visitors seen in 2019, the last time the festival took place as the 2020 and 2021 editions were cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

READ ALSO: Germany’s famed Oktoberfest opens after two-year pandemic hiatus

“We want the weather gods to remember what decent Wies’n [Oktoberfest] weather looks like,” festival head and CSU politician Clemens Baumgärtner said, German news agency DPA reported.

Man and woman in lederhosen at Oktoberfest

A man and a woman in traditional Lederhosen and Dirndl dresses arrive for the opening of the Oktoberfest beer festival at the Theresienwiese in Munich on September 17, 2022.  (Photo by Christof STACHE / AFP)

The festival opened on Saturday and the first guests were already queuing outside the entrances before sunrise to secure their spot at the front of a beer tent when the site was opened. The first tents closed their doors around noon.

Oktoberfest costume parade

Participants of the traditional costume parade of the Oktoberfest beer festival arrive on September 18, 2022.  (Photo by Christof STACHE / AFP)

But the Schottenhamel tent (the oldest at the Oktoberfest) spokesperson, Christian Schottenhamel, said the numbers of people visiting the tents this year were similar to that seen in 2019, DPA said.

Oktoberfest costume parade

Participants dressed as fools perform during the festival’s traditional costume parade on September 18, 2022. (Photo by Christof STACHE / AFP)

He reported that the atmosphere was euphoric, with people just happy to be celebrating Oktoberfest again.

Oktoberfest beer tent visitors

The first visitors arrive and reserve places in a beer tent during the opening of the festival on September 17, 2022. (Photo by Christof STACHE / AFP)

The festival has attracted a mixed audience so far, including families with children and visitors from abroad, such as from the United States and France.

But the spokesperson for the smaller tents, Otto Lindinger, said the audience was getting younger, noting strong demand for meat-free dishes, although the Oktoberfest chicken was said to still be a hit.

Visitors celebrate at Oktoberfest

Visitors jostle for a Maß in a beer tent at the Oktoberfest on September 17, 2022. (Photo by Christof STACHE / AFP)

Over on the south side of the festival area, head of the museum tent Yvonne Heckl described the atmosphere in the traditional ‘Oide Wies’n’, or old Oktoberfest, area as “chilled and calm”.

The festival lasts until October 3rd, as German Unity Day falls on the Monday after the last Oktoberfest Sunday.

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