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Courts throughout Germany shut down after receiving bomb threats

Several district courts in Germany have been evacuated after bomb threats. According to police, anonymous e-mails were received in Potsdam, Magdeburg, Erfurt, Wiesbaden and Kiel.

Courts throughout Germany shut down after receiving bomb threats
A dog handler leaves the district court on Mainzer Straße in Wiesbaden, Hesse, after the building was evacuated due to a bomb threat. Photo: DPA

The largest operation occurred at the regional court on Jägerallee in Potsdam, where about 200 people were already on the premises in the morning, was then evacuated.

“Today at 7:45 a.m. we received information that a threat has been received, announcing the explosion of a bomb today,” a spokesman for the Western Police Directorate told the Berliner Morgenpost about the situation in Potsdam. “As a result, all possible measures were taken to check and avert danger.”

Policemen with sniffer dogs searched through the rooms. Jägerallee remained open for traffic, and only the area directly in front of the courthouse had been closed. They tweeted that nothing had been found following a comprehensive search. 

Investigators in all evacuated buildings are currently evaluating whether the threat should be taken seriously. Once the buildings have been extensively searched, they will decide whether they can be opened to the public again.

Sniffer dogs also in use in other cities

In Erfurt, around 30 employees from the court building had to evacuate the premises, but are now able to return after they did not find anything, according to Erfurt police. 

This morning, after the evacuation, a search with a sniffer dog was still pending at the Magdeburg Regional Court. It is still unclear just how many people were in the building this morning.

Buildings of the district courts of Kiel, Saarbrücken and Wiesbaden were also cleared. No dangerous objects were found in the capital of Saarland. “Now the operation is running normally again”, a spokeswoman told Tagesschau.de.

Police in Wiesbaden tweeted that sniffer dogs on the premises were unable to find anything suspicious. 

In the past weeks, task forces had already examined bomb threats at other district courts in Schleswig-Holstein. Suspicious objects had not been found in any of the incidents.

 

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COURTS

Woman on trial over killing spree at Potsdam care home

The trial began on Tuesday of a woman accused of stabbing four residents to death and severely injuring another at a German care home for disabled people where she worked outside Berlin.

Tributes laid where four people were killed at a care home in Potsdam.
Tributes laid where four people were killed at a care home in Potsdam. Photo: picture alliance/dpa/dpa-Zentralbild | Soeren Stache

Named as Ines Andrea R., the 52-year-old suspect is charged with four counts of murder and three counts of attempted murder following the bloodbath at the Thusnelda-von-Saldern-Haus facility in Potsdam, Brandenburg, in April.

The victims, two women and two men aged between 31 and 56, were found dead in their rooms after being stabbed with a knife, with police saying they had been subjected to “intense, extreme violence”.

Ines Andrea R. is also accused of trying to kill two further residents and of seriously injuring another, a woman aged 43.

She was detained immediately after the incident and placed in urgent psychiatric care due to what prosecutors described as “pertinent evidence” of severe mental illness.

Around 100 police officers were involved in recovering evidence at the scene.

READ ALSO: Women in custody over killings at Potsdam disabled home

The Thusnelda-von-Saldern-Haus, run by the Lutheran Church’s social welfare service, specialises in helping those with physical and mental disabilities, including blind, deaf and severely autistic patients.

It offers live-in care as well as schools and workshops.

Around 65 people live at the residence, which employs more than 80 people.

Germany has seen a number of high-profile murder cases from care facilities.

In the most prominent trial, nurse Niels Högel was sentenced in 2019 to life in prison for murdering 85 patients in his care.

READ ALSO: Missed chances: How Germany’s killer nurse got away with 85 murders

Högel, believed to be Germany’s most prolific serial killer, murdered patients with lethal injections between 2000 and 2005, before he was eventually caught in the act.

Last year, a Polish healthcare worker was sentenced to life in prison in Munich for killing at least three people with insulin.

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