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CRIME

Germany slams online hate posts about murdered pro-migrant politician

The German government on Friday slammed online hate commentaries cheering the unsolved murder of a Hesse politician, who was vocally pro-migrant.

Germany slams online hate posts about murdered pro-migrant politician
A police cordon in place at Waler Lübcke's home. Photo: DPA
“If someone is so hated, just because he had liberal views, that is the decline of human morality,” Germany's interior minister, Horst Seehofer, told the newspaper Tagesspiegel.
 
Police are investigating the murder last weekend of the prominent local politician, Walter Lübcke, a member of Chancellor Angela Merkel's centre-right Christian Democrat (CDU) party.
 
The 65-year-old was shot in the head at close range on the terrace of his home in Kassel, around 160 kilometres northeast of Frankfurt, just after Saturday midnight.
 
Investigators say it is unclear why Lübcke was killed, but a possible political motive has not been ruled out, given the politician had previously received numerous death threats.
 
 
Walter Lübcke. Photo: DPA
 
Tributes to Lübcke and articles reporting his death sparked an avalanche of comments on social networks, many welcoming the murder – something that President Frank-Walter Steinmeier has slammed.
 
“It is simply repugnant to see how some people in the social networks are making fun of this man's death – welcoming it and applauding it,” Steinmeier said at an event in Dortmund.
 
“Slander and attacks, hate campaigns and physical violence against officials and mayors can not be justified.”
 
Lübcke, the head of regional government in Kassel, had spoken out in defence of migrants at the height of Europe's refugee crisis in 2015, drawing the fury of the far right.
 
On a visit to a refugee shelter in October 2015 he said helping people in need is a basic Christian value.
 
“Whoever does not represent these values can leave this country at any time if he does not agree. That is the freedom of every German,” he said back then.

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POLITICS

Ex-chancellor Schröder sues German Bundestag for removing perks

Former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder has sued the German parliament for removing some of his official post-retirement perks over his links to Russian energy giants, his lawyer said Friday.

Ex-chancellor Schröder sues German Bundestag for removing perks

Schröder, 78, has come under heavy criticism for his proximity to Russian President Vladimir Putin and involvement with state-backed energy companies.

The decision to suspend Schröder’s taxpayer-funded office and staff in May was “contrary to the rule of law”, Michael Nagel, told public broadcaster NDR.

Schröder “heard of everything through the media”, Nagel said, noting that the Social Democrat had asked for a hearing before the budget committee responsible but was not given the chance to express himself.

READ ALSO: Germany strips Schröder of official perks over Russia ties

Schröder’s lawyers filed the complaint with an administrative Berlin court, a spokesman for the court confirmed.

In its decision to strip him of the perks, the committee concluded that Schröder, who served as chancellor from 1998 to 2005, “no longer upholds the continuing obligations of his office”.

Most of Schröder’s office staff had already quit before the final ruling was made.

Despite resigning from the board of Russian oil company Rosneft and turning down a post on the supervisory board of gas giant Gazprom in May, Schröder has maintained close ties with the Kremlin.

The former chancellor met Putin in July, after which he said Moscow was ready for a “negotiated solution” to the war in Ukraine — comments branded as “disgusting” by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Last week, the Social Democrats concluded that Schröder would be allowed to remain a member after he was found not have breached party rules over his ties to the Russian President.

Schröder’s stance on the war and solo diplomacy has made him an embarrassment to the SPD, which is also the party of current Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

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