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CRIME

Spy jailed for aiding Iranian missile programme

An Iranian-Canadian businessman who had spied for Germany for more than a decade has been convicted of supporting Tehran's missile programme, according to a German press report to published Monday.

Spy jailed for aiding Iranian missile programme
Photo: DPA

News weekly Der Spiegel said the man, who was codenamed Sinbad and seen as an important source on the Iranian arms programme by Germany’s intelligence service, the BND, was sentenced by Berlin’s superior court of justice to three years in prison.

No one at the court could be reached for comment.

Der Spiegel said Sinbad had received more than €1 million ($1.4 million) over the years from the BND for his services but was at the same time selling high-tech equipment to a company believed to be helping Tehran produce Shahab missiles.

He was arrested last October. The magazine said that German justice officials, the defendant and the BND agreed to wrap up the trial quickly and discreetly.

In return, Sinbad has been ordered to leave Germany and serve his sentence abroad.

Der Spiegel said German intelligence experts were still unsure if he had been working as a double agent and delivering information to Germany with the knowledge of the Iranian government.

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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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