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CRIME

Man kidnaps 7-year-old boy in ‘revenge’

A 7 year-old boy who was kidnapped on his way to school on Friday has been returned safely to his family after a six-figure ransom was paid to his abductor. The incident occurred in the town of Fellbach in the southern state of Baden-Württemberg.

Man kidnaps 7-year-old boy in 'revenge'
Photo:DPA

A police spokesman said no “major violence” had been inflicted on the boy but refrained from going into further detail. The 48 year-old kidnapper, who appeared to be unarmed, rang the boy’s father and demanded a six-figure ransom.

After it was paid, he initially managed to evade the police but was captured some hours later at the apartment of an acquaintance.

The police said it had opted for an approach that privileged the boy’s safe release over the immediate arrest of the perpetrator.

The kidnapper hid the cash at his home and in his car and confessed to the crime after his arrest.

The boy and his family are receiving psychological support and are said to be in good form, considering their ordeal. It appears the kidnapper’s intention was to get revenge on the boy’s father.

DPA/The Local/kkf

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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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