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CRIME

Hamburg police attack ‘was to mark death of Greek student’

A group calling themselves ‘the hoodie wearers’ has claimed responsibility for the Hamburg police station attack on Thursday, saying it was to mark the first anniversary of the death of a teenager in Greece who was shot by police.

Hamburg police attack 'was to mark death of Greek student'
Police car burns in Hamburg last week Photo: DPA

In a letter to the Hamburger Morgenpost newspaper, the group, who set fire to two police cars, set up burning barricades and threw stones at officers, said they were no longer prepared to face riot police.

They used the Greek word Koukoulofori, as a name, which translates roughly to ‘the hoodie wearers’.

“Rather than allowing ourselves to be beaten bloody by the Robocops at demos,” the letter called for those who felt the same way, to undertake similar surprise attacks as that on the police station on Thursday.

The letter also asked locals for understanding for any disturbance such as flat tyres.

It also threatened a riot should the local squatted house, known as Rote Flora, be cleared of the punks, anarchists and others who live and organise activities in it.

Such a move would provoke what the letter called, “A lively international little community from all corners of Europe to ensure a brilliant and unforgettable experience.”

The police at the station which was attacked have affixed several new video cameras to the building, but would not release further details.

The death of 15-year-old Alexandros-Alexis Grigoropoulos, shot by a policeman during a demonstration in an alternative area of Athens on December 6 last year, sparked rioting in the Greek capital and other cities around Europe.

Athens was the scene of further rioting on Saturday night, with several cars being destroyed, and one district town hall being occupied for several hours. Police arrested more than 160 people, 75 of whom will be charged with offences.

Student organisations across Greece have organised demonstrations for Sunday, provoking fears of further trouble. More than 10,000 police officers have been put on duty for the day, while minister for civil protection, Michalis Chrysochoidis said, “We will not leave Athens to the vandals.” He said officers would only watch the demonstrations, but that they would show zero tolerance for acts of violence.

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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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