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CRIME

Stabbed Cologne mayor mourns Jo Cox death

The mayor of Cologne, who was stabbed in the neck by a far-right fanatic last autumn, has spoken of her pain at hearing of the murder of British MP Jo Cox.

Stabbed Cologne mayor mourns Jo Cox death
Henriette Reker (l) and Jo Cox (r). Photo: DPA

“The death of Jo Cox has really affected me. Xenophobic slogans inevitably lead to violence,” Henriette Reker, who was elected mayor of Cologne in 2015, tweeted.

“We all bear responsibility that such a situation never happens again in Germany or in Europe,” she wrote as a follow up.

Cox, an MP for the Labour party, was shot and stabbed multiple times on Thursday in her local constituency.

Police later arrested a 52-year-old man who is reported to have cried “Britain first” during his attack, a possible reference to a far-right UK political party of the same name.

The attack came days before Britain votes in a historic referendum on whether it wants to remain part of the European Union or not.

Cox was a supporter of the “Remain” campaign, and had also been an outspoken advocate for Syrian refugees.

Reker was herself stabbed while campaigning to become mayor in October last year.

A 44-year-old man, whom prosecutors accuse of having neo-Nazi beliefs, is currently on trial for the attack.

He has described Reker during his testimony as “a completely deluded, far-left, fancy pants ideologue” and is believed to have been angered by her support for refugees coming to Germany.

The assault shocked Germany at a time of growing division over the government's decision to open its doors to people fleeing war and misery, with more than one million arrivals last year alone.

CRIME

German jailed for life in double police murder

A German man was given a life sentence on Wednesday for shooting dead two police officers to escape being caught for illegal game hunting during a routine traffic check.

German jailed for life in double police murder

The regional court in Kaiserslautern found 39-year-old Andreas Schmitt guilty of the killings in January this year, which sent shockwaves across Germany.

His co-defendant, referred to by the court as Florian V., was found guilty of abetting illegal poaching.

The 33-year-old was in the car with Schmitt when the officers discovered dead game in the boot, investigators said.

“We are all to this day horrified that a supposed routine control could turn into a fatal incident,” Interior Minister Nancy Faeser said in a statement after the verdict.

READ ALSO: German prosecutors say poaching led to double police murder

The victims were a 24-year-old woman police officer still in training and her colleague, a 29-year-old man.

The young woman was killed by a single shot to the head, while the man was shot four times, investigators said.

The officers were able to report that they were checking a suspicious vehicle and that shots were being fired before radio contact broke off.

When backup arrived, the woman was already dead and the man fatally injured. The perpetrators had fled the scene.

The crime in the Kusel district of Rhineland-Palatinate state triggered a major manhunt, with police deploying helicopters and sniffer dogs, sealing off roads and warning local residents not to pick up hitchhikers.

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