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CRIME

Singer praised neo-Nazi immigrant murders

German prosecutors said Tuesday they had charged the lead singer of a suspected neo-Nazi band who wrote a song about a series of racist murders thought to have been carried out by far-right extremists.

Singer praised neo-Nazi immigrant murders
Photo: DPA

Authorities in the northwestern German city of Osnabrück said they had charged the 42-year-old lead singer of the band “Gigi and the Brown Town Musicians” with incitement to racial hatred.

Prosecutors are also investigating two other songs on a CD entitled “Adolf Hitler Lives.” One calls for all Turks in Germany to be deported to Istanbul, the other denies any Jews died in the Auschwitz concentration camp.

Alexander Retemeyer, a spokesman for prosecutors, told AFP: “We have pressed charges of incitement to racial hatred at the local court in Meppen.”

So far, only the singer, who has not been named by authorities, is under suspicion because he wrote the lyrics.

Germans have been shocked at the recent discovery of a small far-right group believed responsible for the unsolved murders of eight men of Turkish origin and a Greek between 2000 and 2006 as well as a German policewoman in 2007.

The killings had long been called the “kebab murders” because some victims ran snack shops.

Two members of the so-called National Socialist Underground claimed responsibility for the 10 deaths as well as a 2004 bombing in predominantly Turkish district of Cologne which wounded more than 20 people.

The two were found dead in November in an apparent suicide.

On Thursday, Chancellor Angela Merkel is due to lead a service commemorating the murders.

AFP/mdm

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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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