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CRIME

Police investigate 14 suspected neo-Nazis

Authorities in Germany are investigating 14 suspected members of neo-Nazi terror groups, news magazine Der Spiegel reports.

Police investigate 14 suspected neo-Nazis
Photo:DPA

Of those, 10 are in connection with the activities of the NSU neo-Nazi terror cell, which killed eight Turkish people and one Greek as well as a German policewoman over a period of seven years.

The figures have emerged in response to an information request issued by Germany’s Left Party. The number does not include the five people who are already due to appear in Munich’s Upper Regional Court in connection with the NSU killing spree.

One of the 14 people under investigation is Martin Wiese, who was arrested in 2003 for plotting a bomb attack on an opening ceremony for a Jewish community centre in Munich. He was later sentenced to seven years in jail for leading a terrorist organisation. He’s now being accused of conspiring with a terrorist group, a charge he denies.

Another man being investigated is Meinolf Schönborn, the former head of the banned Nationalistische Front (Nationalist Front) He’s accused of trying, with three others, to set up a new group called Neue Ordnung (New Order). He also denies the allegation. In northern Germany police are also investigating a handful of people thought to have helped supply weapons for attacks.

The trial of NSU member Beate Zschäpe has been marred by controversy after no Turkish media outlets initially gained accreditation to be in the courtroom to cover the trial. Though the court first refused to re-open the application process, an order from above ensured that Turkish, Greek and Persian-language media would be guaranteed seats at the trial.

Zschäpe’s trial begins on May 6.

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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