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FOOTBALL

Thugs’ ‘dream cop’ in court for not investigating 100 cases

For three years a police officer in western Germany simply ignored many of the cases he was supposed to investigate. His trial started on Tuesday in Bochum.

Thugs' ‘dream cop’ in court for not investigating 100 cases
Fans at a VfL Bochum match set off flares. Photo: DPA

The officer was every football hooligan’s dream copper, the Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung (WAZ) reports.

Over a period of three years he either totally failed to investigate, or investigated to an unsatisfactory degree, 96 cases, almost of which involved criminality at football matches.

The officer now faces a charge of obstruction of justice while in public office.

The reading of the charges took around an hour, as prosecutors went through each of the individual 96 charges on incidents between 2011 and 2013.

Some of the cases involve fans setting off firecrackers or smoke bombs in VfL Bochum’s stadium, others relate to attacks on opposition fans or police officers.

Prosecutors allege that many of the cases would not have been hard to solve as there was often photographic or video evidence as well as eyewitness testimony.

In one case involving the beating of an 8-year-old boy, the child’s mother had pushed the officer to interview her child, the Rheinische Post reports.

Even then, the officer said that there was little point, because there was no video evidence to back up the allegation.

Most of the cases will now never be solved, say prosecutors, either because evidence has gone missing, or because it is now too late to identify perpetrators.

The 44-year-old officer has been suspended from service and has yet to answer the charges against him.

The judges have called in psychologists to try and understand whether there is a psychological explanation for the man’s behaviour.

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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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