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CRIME

Neo-Nazis in attack part of German-Swedish connection

Neo-Nazis wanted for a violent attack on trade unionists at a German motorway rest stop last weekend are reportedly part of a German-Swedish network of far-right extremists.

Neo-Nazis in attack part of German-Swedish connection
The demonstration in Dresden Photo:DPA

A report in Der Spiegel this weekend says one of the suspects was once among the leaders of ‘Blood and Honour Scandinavia,’ part of an international network of neo-Nazis.

Ralf Mohrmann from the Gera state prosecutor which is leading the investigation, said that an arrest warrant has been issued for one of the three Swedes on the bus involved in the attack.

All 41 passengers on the bus are being investigated on possible assault and trespass charges.

The German police stopped the bus – which had been hired by a German member of the NPD – after the attack on the trade unionists. The trade unionists and the fascists had been demonstrating on opposing sides in Dresden on the anniversary of the World War II allied bombing of the city.

But the magazine reports that although the names and addresses of all those aboard were taken, they were allowed to continue on their way because the extent of the injuries inflicted in the attack had not yet become apparent.

A 42-year-old man from northern Hesse had suffered a fractured skull and had to be operated on. Four others were also injured, some seriously.

German security sources told the magazine that Swedish extremists had close connections to the ‘Action Office Rhein-Neckar’ which joins up neo-Nazi groups from south Hesse, Rhine-Westphalia and Baden-Württemberg.

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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