Prosecutors demand life for Dortmund bus bomber

German prosecutors asked a court Monday to sentence a man accused of an April 2017 bomb attack on Borussia Dortmund's team bus to life in prison.

Prosecutors demand life for Dortmund bus bomber
The defendant Sergej Wenergold in the regional court in Dortmund on Monday. Photo: DPA

Defendant Sergej Wenergold committed almost 30 attempted murders by attacking the bus with three improvised bombs as it left the team's hotel, lead prosecutor Carsten Dombert said.

He also faces charges of causing an explosion and two counts of causing serious injury, with judges expected to deliver their verdict next week.

The triple blast on April 11th 2017 shattered the team bus's windows, with a police officer also suffering inner ear damage.

The Russian-born German citizen has admitted to placing the bombs, but claims he did not aim to kill anyone — each contained up to a kilogramme (2.2 pounds) of a hydrogen peroxide mixture and dozens of metal bolts.

Prosecutors say he in fact aimed to kill as many players as possible, hoping to profit financially after buying so-called put options — essentially a bet on the club's share price falling.

SEE ALSO: Dortmund bomb attack 'changed my life', footballer tells court

Wenergold left letters supposed to hint at an Islamist terrorist background at the scene, as well as far left or far right extremist groups.

But police eventually joined the dots after realising that the trained electrician had stayed in the same hotel as the Dortmund players on the eve of their Champions' League match against Monaco.

Hidden in a hedge, the explosives were badly positioned and in the end succeeded only in breaking Spanish defender Marc Bartra's wrist and damaging a police officer's hearing.

Several Dortmund players including Bartra gave emotional testimony during the trial about the trauma they suffered during the attack.

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WWII bomb found in Frankfurt safely detonated after mass evacuation

A massive World War II bomb found in Germany's financial capital Frankfurt was safely detonated in the early hours of Thursday, the city's fire service said, allowing tens of thousands of evacuated residents to return to their homes.

WWII bomb found in Frankfurt safely detonated after mass evacuation
Experts stand on mountains of sand, which were put in place to soften the force of the explosion of the WWII bomb in Frankfurt's Nordend. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Frank Rumpenhorst

The 500-kilogram unexploded bomb was unearthed during construction work on Wednesday in the densely populated Nordend area of the city, a location firefighters said made it a “particular challenge” to remove.

The Frankfurter Allgemeine newspaper reported the ordnance had been discovered right next to a children’s playground at a depth of about two metres (6.5 feet).

READ ALSO: What you need to know about WWII bomb disposals in Germany

Its report said the controlled blast, which happened just after midnight, “sounded like thunder rumbling” and left a hole three metres deep and ten metres wide.

Firefighters said that they had covered the bomb with 40 truckloads of sand before detonating it, in order to minimise damage to the surrounding buildings.

Around 25,000 people had been asked to evacuate the area, including the occupants of a nearby community hospital’s neonatal ward.

Among residents who took shelter at a skating rink was 29-year-old Tobias, carrying his pet cat in a cage.

He said he had heard the news over a police loudspeaker and been ordered to leave his home immediately, causing a “bit of stress”.

Barbara, 77, told AFP the news was “a bit of a shock, we don’t expect that”.

However, building works in Germany regularly unearth unexploded World War II ordnance, 76 years after the conflict’s end.

Seven bombs were defused in 2020 on land near Berlin where Tesla plans to build its first factory in Europe for electric cars.  

READ ALSO: WWII bomb in Frankfurt triggers 30m high water fountain

Other bombs were also discovered last year in Frankfurt, Cologne, and Dortmund.

In Frankfurt, the discovery of a 1.4-tonne bomb in 2017 led to the removal of 65,000 people, the biggest such evacuation in Europe since 1945.