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CRIME

Deutsche Bahn sacks employees in foreign bribery scandal

German national rail provider Deutsche Bahn has begun firing employees at their subsidiary DB International following an international corruption scandal, the company said on Thursday.

Deutsche Bahn sacks employees in foreign bribery scandal
Photo: DPA

“We have separated ourselves from a number of leading employees in middle management,” a spokesperson told daily Berliner Zeitung.

The DB International workers are suspected of bribing foreign decision makers in Algeria, Rwanda, Greece and beyond to gain contracts.

“The suspicion of illegal payments has hardened so that we’ve taken the first difficult consequences,” the spokesperson said.

In addition to sacking the workers suspected of wrongdoing, other related contracts with consultants and freelancers have ended.

The spokesperson estimated that the alleged payments amounted to the “middle-single-figure millions,” the paper said.

The bribery cases are believed to date back as far as 2005, and the company informed the Frankfurt public prosecutor’s office last year about its suspicions, discovered during internal review.

Deutsche Bahn also hired professional services firm KPMG to perform a special investigation into the subsidiary.

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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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