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CRIME

OPEC 1975 terror attack suspect on trial

The trial of an alleged far-left radical accused of involvement in the deadly 1975 attack on an OPEC summit began on Friday in Frankfurt, following her extradition from France last year.

OPEC 1975 terror attack suspect on trial
Photo: DPA

Sonja Suder, 79, is suspected of belonging to the Revolutionary Cells group in the 1970s and supplying weapons and explosives to a commando led by militant mastermind Carlos the Jackal for a hostage-taking at the meeting in Vienna.

Three people were killed including members of the Iraqi and Libyan delegations to the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries as well as a police officer.

Convicted militant Hans-Joachim Klein has accused Suder of recruiting him to take part in the bloody Vienna siege.

She has been charged with three counts of murder and one count of attempted murder.

Suder’s 71-year-old partner Christian Gauger is also in the dock, accused of taking part with her in several explosives or arson attacks in German cities.

The pair had fled to France in 1978 and were arrested there in 2000. Extradition to Germany was requested a year later.

But France’s highest administrative court in December 2010 quashed the pair’s bid to block extradition to Germany, clearing the way for them to be handed over last year.

They received a long round of applause from supporters as they entered the courtroom in the western city of Frankfurt.

AFP/jcw

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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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