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CRIME

Woman killed in courtroom bloodbath was pregnant

A woman stabbed to death in a Dresden courtroom was three months pregnant, reported German newspaper Bild on Friday.

Woman killed in courtroom bloodbath was pregnant
Photo: DPA

According to Egyptian newspapers, the woman was Marwa al-Sherbini, a 32-year-old Egyptian national who was suing her attacker after he insulted her for wearing the Islamic headscarf. The attacker, identified only as Alex W., was appealing the €780 fine he was ordered to pay in the libel suit.

Al-Sherbini was the wife of Egyptian academic Elwi Ali-Okaz. He was also hurt in the incident after he tried to help his wife and is in critical condition in hospital. Police are now investigating Alex W. for manslaughter.

“The investigation into this bloody crime is bound to show there are some indications the suspect was hostile toward foreigners – the signs are there,” said Saxony police chief Bernd Merbitz told Bild.

Magdi al-Sayed, press officer at the German embassy in Cairo, said the case was isolated and did not reflect German attitude towards Muslims.

“It is a criminal act. It has nothing to do with persecution against Muslims,” Sayed told the Egyptian state newspaper The Gazette.

The stabbing happened July 1, just before al-Sherbini was to give her evidence. During the struggle, other bystanders were also injured and police fired a shot. Al-Sherbini died in the courtroom.

The 28-year-old attacker was overpowered and is now under investigation for manslaughter, a spokesman for the Dresden prosecutor’s office said.

Chairman of the German judge federation Christoph Frank is now demanding that safety and security measures must be brought up to standard.

“Each individual law court must be examined and security infrastructure put in place to better protect citizens,” he said to the Bild.

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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