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CRIME

Police locate synagogue vandal suspect in Dresden

Dresden police announced on Monday that they have found a suspect in the defacement of a synagogue that took place two days ahead of the 71st anniversary of the Nazi Kristallnacht pogrom this month.

Police locate synagogue vandal suspect in Dresden
Photo: DPA

The 39-year-old Algerian man is accused of daubing swastikas and anti-Jewish statements along several metres of a wall outside the synagogue on November 7, the Saxony state office of criminal investigation said.

Eyewitness accounts and surveillance videos helped them reconstruct the crime and apprehend the Dresden resident on Saturday.

“But there were no grounds for arrest,” spokesman Christian Avenarius said.

The man is not known to have previously committed politically motivated crimes.

He is now being investigated for incitement of hatred with symbols used by unconstitutional organisations, the spokesperson said. The swastika and other Nazi symbols are illegal in Germany.

Kristallnacht, or “The Night of Broken Glass,” saw Nazi thugs attack hundreds of synagogues and Jewish businesses across Germany on November 9, 1938. Some 90 Jews were killed and 30,000 Jewish men were arrested for deportation to concentration camps.

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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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