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CRIME

Truck driver admits to murdering jogger outside Freiburg

A Romanian truck driver confessed to the murder of a female jogger as his trial opened in Freiburg on Wednesday, after also coming under suspicion for the 2014 killing of a French exchange student in Austria.

Truck driver admits to murdering jogger outside Freiburg
Catalin C. in court in Freiburg. Photo: DPA

The accused, 40-year-old Catalin C., faces charges of aggravated rape and murder over the death last November of a 27-year-old German woman who had gone for an afternoon run.

The suspect told the court in the southwestern city of Freiburg that he attacked the woman with a bottle and that he was “shocked” by his own actions.

“What I have done is unforgivable,” he said.

He denied having a sexual motive for the crime, as alleged by the prosecution.

Prosecutors claim that Catalin C. raped the young woman and then beat her with an iron rod until she died. It took days and a large search operation before her body was found in the woods outside Freiburg.

Catalin C. was arrested in June and investigators have since said that forensic evidence links him to the unsolved murder of a 20-year-old French exchange student in the Austrian town of Kufstein in 2014.

The woman, from the French city of Lyon, was also raped before she was killed.

A verdict in the case of the German jogger is expected in late December.

Only once the German ruling is final can the accused be handed over to Austrian authorities to potentially face judicial proceedings there, a Freiburg court spokesman told DPA news agency.

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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