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Defendant kills witness in Dresden court

A 32-year-old woman was killed in a Dresden court on Wednesday after being stabbed by the defendant. Meanwhile bystanders were injured as the 28-year-old man was overpowered.

Defendant kills witness in Dresden court
Photo: DPA

Police spokesman Thomas Geithner confirmed that the woman was still in the building when she died of her injuries. “The man attacked the woman with a knife in the courtroom,” Geithner said, adding that a policeman had fired a shot in the ensuing struggle.

All the background details are not known yet, but a spokesman for the state prosecutor said that the incident, which occurred shortly before 10:30 am, happened during an appeal hearing in a libel case. The defendant had been convicted and fined for libel last year.

Bettina Garmann, a spokesman for the court, said that there had been no reason to believe that special safety procedures would be necessary for the case.

The incident recalled a similar scene of courtroom violence in the Bavarian town of Landshut in April, when a 60-year-old man shot his sister-in-law before turning the gun on himself, following an inheritance ruling.

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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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