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CRIME

Germany busts suspected child-sex abuse ring

Eleven people have been arrested in Germany on suspicion of sexually abusing children and filming their actions, police said on Saturday.

Germany busts suspected child-sex abuse ring
The house in Münster where the data was seized. Photo: DPA

Hard disks containing up to 500 terabytes of data, including videos and photos, were seized from the cellar of a 27-year-old man from the western city of Muenster.

Investigators identified at least three potential victims aged five, 10 and 12 years old. Some of the suspects — who hail from regions across Germany — are related to the children.

Muenster police said in a press conference that the recovered footage showed shocking abuse over “several hours” of the two younger boys by four men.

READ: Two men jailed for over a decade in Germany's 'largest child abuse scandal' 

“You can't imagine it,” said lead investigator Joachim Poll.

“These men, if you can call them that, acted maliciously by encrypting all their discussions on their cell phones.”

Police said the abuse took place at a summer house in Muenster belonging to the mother of the 27-year-old suspect.

Germany is still in shock over an earlier scandal in Luegde, 125 kilometres (80 miles) from Muenster, where several men abused children several hundred times at a campsite over a period of several years.

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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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