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CRIME

CDU slush-fund scandal figure Schreiber denies charges

Karlheinz Schreiber, the German-Canadian weapons lobbyist and key figure in a political slush-fund scandal, was formally charged on Tuesday with tax evasion, bribery and fraud.

CDU slush-fund scandal figure Schreiber denies charges
A file photo of Karlheinz Schreiber in Canada. Photo: DPA

His lawyer denied he was guilty of any offence.

The 75-year-old arrived in Munich yesterday morning after finally losing a 10-year-battle against extradition from Canada. He is wanted in connection with a political party donations scandal with the conservative Christian Democrats (CDU) during the Helmut Kohl era.

Judge Rudolf Weigell also deemed Schreiber a flight risk due to his dual citizenship and ample means and ordered that he stay in jail until trial, court spokesman Karl-Heinz Haeusler told reporters from outside the Augsburg court house. The media was not allowed in the courtroom during the brief hearing.

The charges are related to an allegation that Schreiber gave former CDU treasurer Walther Leisler Kiep a briefcase with €511,000 (1 million German Marks) in a parking lot in Switzerland in 1991, which prosecutors claim then flowed into party coffers.

The resulting investigation forced former Chancellor Helmut Kohl to relinquish his post as honorary chairman of the CDU in 1999.

No trial date has been set yet.

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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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