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Date-rape drugs wreck German chancellor’s summer bash

At least nine women were given a date-rape drug at an invite-only event attended by Chancellor Olaf Scholz and MPs, his Social Democratic Party (SPD) said Saturday.

Date-rape drugs wreck German chancellor's summer bash
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz's attended the SDP event in question last week. Photo: John MACDOUGALL/AFP

SPD co-leader Lars Klingbeil said he was “shocked” at the news.

“It makes me angry such a thing could happen at an event organised by the SPD,” he told the Die Welt daily.

He added that he hoped those responsible would be detained and investigated.

“There’s quite a lot of emotion,” a spokesperson for the SPD’s parliamentary group told AFP, confirming a report in the Berlin newspaper Tagesspiegel.

Berlin police said officers were investigating allegations of serious bodily injuries after a 21-year-old woman filed a complaint following “a political party’s summer party”.

She went for hospital tests the following day, having only consumed food and non-alcoholic drinks at the event.

“I advise all those concerned to file a complaint,” added the group’s Katja Mast on Twitter.

The spokesperson did not rule out further cases adding to the nine already declared, according to the party.

The SPD sent out an email to all those invited to the party on Wednesday night condemning a “monstrous act which we immediately declared to parliamentary police”.

About 1,000 people joined the chancellor and MPs at the SPD’s traditional summer bash ahead of the parliamentary recess.

“It was an internal event. You could only get in with an invitation,” said the spokesperson. “There’s still a lot of uncertainty, the police are investigating.”

In a statement, Berlin police said the woman who filed the complaint had no memory of the party the next day, prompting her to obtain a medical exam and file the complaint.

The woman told police she felt nauseous and dizzy during the event after consuming food and non-alcoholic beverages.

The police said they had been so far informed of four other cases.

Date-rape drugs are usually used to spike drinks or food and can leave victims confused and unable to defend themselves against assault.

For 2021, Berlin police reported 22 cases involving date-rape drugs, according to the Berliner Zeitung daily.

The true number is likely to be far higher with victims often unable to recall exactly what happened or ashamed to make a complaint.

Also, with the Covid-19 pandemic, discotheques, nightclubs and party venues were closed for much of last year in the German capital.

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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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