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CRIME

Family of ‘veil martyr’ files case against Dresden judges

The family of the pregnant Egyptian woman murdered last year in a Dresden courtroom has filed a case against the two judges on the bench that day for not preventing her death, city officials said Friday.

Family of 'veil martyr' files case against Dresden judges
Photo: DPA

Marwa El-Sherbini, dubbed the “veil martyr,” was stabbed to death in a courtroom in July 2009 in a racially motivated crime that outraged the Muslim world.

The 31-year-old was stabbed by Russian-born Alex Wiens at least 16 times with an 18-centimetre kitchen knife. She was three-months pregnant with her second child. Her three-year-old son, Mustafa, watched her bleed to death in the courtroom.

Sherbini’s husband, Egyptian geneticist Elwy Okaz, rushed to her aid but was also stabbed and then shot in the leg by a police officer who was unsure who was the attacker.

Wiens said he was acting out of revenge after El-Sherbini, who wore a headscarf, had pressed charges against him for calling her a “terrorist,” “Islamist” and “whore” during a dispute over a playground swing in August 2008.

He confessed to the crime during his trial, which resulted in a life sentence.

Sherbini’s family has now filed a case, called a Klageerzwingungsverfahren in German, to force the higher regional court to review their accusations against the court officials present the day of the murder, who they say did not properly insure her safety.

During Wiens’ trial, Sherbini’s husband Okaz complained of insufficient security measures in the courtroom. He also filed a criminal complaint against the court for negligent homicide.

Despite knowledge of Wiens’ “criminal intent” there had been no special security arranged, one of the family’s lawyers said at the time. But state prosecutors dropped the case, saying it lacked evidence.

Courts in Saxony have increased security measures since the murder as a result of the tragic murder.

The family’s latest case to force further review is unlikely to be addressed before the new year, court spokeswoman Karin Haller said.

DAPD/ka

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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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