Man faces court for blackmail of SAP founder

A man accused of trying to blackmail billionaire Dietmar Hopp for more than €5 million will face court this week, after a classic Hollywood-style sting conducted in top secret.

Man faces court for blackmail of SAP founder
Target Hopp Photo: DPA

The 43-year-old man, who runs a driving firm, is said to have sent threatening letters to the billionaire co-founder of software giant SAP since August.

Although details have until now been kept strictly under wraps, the letters were obviously taken seriously enough for the police to be notified. Nothing was made public on the case until the man had already been arrested.

This followed an agreement reached about paying him, and an undercover detective handing over a case of fake money at a meeting to which the alleged blackmailer showed up in one of his lorries.

A few days later when police raided his house in Heilbronn in early September, they found the fake money there, according to the case against him.

He was arrested and has been in police custody ever since.

Hopp, who earned his fortune from SAP, has invested heavily in the biotech industry involved in the search for cancer treatments, as well as his home town football team 1899 Hoffenheim.

Hopp has not commented on the case, and is not expected to be called as a witness in the trial which starts on Tuesday in the Heidelberg District Court. A verdict is expected on Wednesday.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.


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.