• Germany's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Mayor convicted of faking arson attack

The Local · 14 Nov 2012, 08:50

Published: 14 Nov 2012 08:50 GMT+01:00

Prosecutors accused Rickenbach mayor Norbert Moosmann and his partner of fraud and faking a crime, German magazine Der Spiegel reported on Tuesday. While Moosmann's defence team condemned what it calls a biased investigation tainted by a "climate of prejudice."

But Judge Bernhard Seyffert was convinced of the pair's guilt, saying that though the motive could not be precisely defined, "because of his unstable psychological situation, the mayor apparently wanted to present himself as the victim." Moosmann's unnamed partner was fined €4,500 for his part in the crime.

Moosmann greeted the verdict with a vigorous shake of the head, Der Spiegel wrote. "I am shocked," the 41-year-old told the court. "I am innocent. And I expected the court to end this intrigue against me."

Moosmann told authorities he was sitting alone in his office on Sunday, July 3, 2011, when a bottle filled with methylated spirits was hurled through an open window. He alerted police at 8:13pm.

A note found in the lobby of the Rickenbach town hall read, "Moosi, tired of living? We don't need you as mayor! For the last time: Get lost! Or you'll be blown up!"

Authorities said the bottle turned out to be a fake Molotov cocktail, but he refused to return to the town hall, saying he feared for his life.

Moosmann was elected mayor of Rickenbach in February 2007. At first, residents saw the former postal service employee as a promising new start for the community. But just months later, the honeymoon was over. Der Spiegel said Moosmann became increasingly unpopular with members of the local council, who criticised his gruff tone and go-it-alone mentality.

The mayor's decision in 2008 to move in with his partner, who lived about 90 kilometres away, further poisoned Moosmann's ties with his constituents.

The next year, the mayor spent months on sick leave due to heart troubles - though rumours spread in Rickenbach that Moosmann was actually skiving off.

The spirit of ill will between the mayor and Rickenbach's residents continued to spread in the months that followed - and in 2010, the town hall received a package addressed to Moosmann that contained a dead mouse lying in a blob of ketchup.

The mayor checked himself into a medical centre complaining of "severe post-traumatic stress disorder" - saying he felt he was being bullied - and did not return to work until July 2011, just two days before the alleged arson attempt.

Story continues below…

Der Spiegel said investigators are convinced that Moosmann planted both the bottle and letter himself. They also claim the mayor's partner barricaded the door to make it appear as if Moosmann had been trapped inside his office.

Prosecutors say surveillance footage proves that a car rented under the mayor's name had stopped in front of city hall at 8pm on the day of the supposed attack. The driver apparently entered the building and left just two minutes later.

According to the prosecution, Moosmann stood to benefit from faking the arson attempt. If the mayor were able to prove he was unfit for work due to a job-related accident, they said, he would be entitled to a bigger monthly pension.

The Local/arp

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

22:37 November 19, 2012 by Reltih
Just another angry, militant homosexual who is going to show the World how intolerant everyone is by faking a bias crime.

The fake crimes seem to outnumber the real crimes by about 5-1.

It seems so odd that people who receive sexual gratification from human feces would behave in a crazy fashion.
Today's headlines
VW to pay US suppliers $1.2 bln over Dieselgate
Volkswagen model vehicles on a dealer lot in Bedford, Massachusetts, USA. Photo: Cj Gunther/Picture Alliance/DPA

German auto giant Volkswagen has agreed to pay US suppliers $1.2 billion to settle claims emanating from the "Dieselgate" pollution scandal, the firm and suppliers said late Friday.

This Week in History
75 years since one of Holocaust's worst massacres
Photo: DPA

On Thursday, German president Joachim Gauck spoke in Kiev 75 years after the Nazis slaughtered 33,771 Jews during one of the worst single massacres of the Holocaust.

Six things you need to know about troubled Deutsche Bank

Shares in Deutsche bank plunged on Friday morning, dragging down other European banks and markets worldwide. Here are six things to know about Germany's biggest lender.

Deutsche Bahn jacks up prices for first time in 3 years
Photo: DPA

Germany's main rail provider, the state-owned Deutsche Bahn (DB), announced on Friday that it will raise prices on long-distance train travel.

Baby found alive in suitcase with skeleton in Hanover
File photo: DPA.

A baby has been found alive, along with the skeleton of another infant inside of a suitcase in Hanover, police reported on Friday.

Morocco to speed up repatriation of illegal migrants
Photo: DPA

Morocco has agreed to streamline the procedures for the repatriation of citizens living illegally in Germany, the royal court said late on Thursday.

890,000 refugees arrived in Germany last year - not 1.1m
Photo: DPA

Previous reports had suggested that around 1.1 million people entered Germany to seek asylum last year. But now the German government has confirmed the number was actually lower.

Racist attacks cast cloud over Dresden Unity Day planning
A police vehicle in Dresden. Photo: DPA.

As Dresden prepares to host Germany’s national Unity Day celebrations on Monday, the capital of the eastern state of Saxony is upping security after a mosque was targeted by a homemade bomb.

Sinking Deutsche Bank stock sends shock across Europe
Photo: DPA

Shares in Germany's biggest lender Deutsche Bank plummeted on the Frankfurt stock market on Friday, dragging other European banks and global markets down with it, after reports some customers were pulling money out.

The Local List
10 things you never knew about German reunification
Reunification celebrations in Hanover in 2014. Photo: DPA

With German Unity Day (October 3rd) happening on Monday, Germans are looking forward to a three-day weekend. But did you know these facts about reunification and German Unity Day?

Sponsored Article
The Inner Circle: the secret to dating in Berlin
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
Lifestyle
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
Lifestyle
10 German films you have to watch before you die
Lifestyle
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
Sponsored Article
Retiring abroad: ensuring your health is covered
Lifestyle
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
National
Seven great reasons to stay in Germany this September
National
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
National
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
National
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
Culture
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Sponsored Article
The Inner Circle: the secret to dating in Berlin
Rhineland
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Culture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
Lifestyle
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
Gallery
Germany's 17 Olympic gold medals in pictures
14 facts you never knew about the Brandenburg Gate
Society
Ten times Germans proved they really, really love beer
National
Six things you need to know when moving to Germany
Travel
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
International
German scientists prove birds can sleep while flying
Technology
London v. Berlin: Which is better for startups?
Lifestyle
13 mortifying mistakes German learners always make
6,718
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd