Lidl faces fines for spying on staff

Discount supermarket giant Lidl is due to be fined several million euros with several German state governments expected to hand down punitive decisions this month, according to a report in Der Spiegel this weekend.

Lidl faces fines for spying on staff

Lidl managers sparked a scandal early this year by spying on their staff, using spy video systems in stores, and in some cases even private detectives.

Several hundred pages of evidence were leaked to Stern magazine, showing records were kept of when members of staff were going to the toilet, assessments of their personal appearance and even details of private telephone conversations.

At least eight Lidl shops were involved in breaking privacy rules, largely in Lower Saxony and other northern regions.

Data protection officials in North Rhine Westphalia alone are set to impose five fines for spying, unauthorised video surveillance or long-term data preservation. Three further fines are due from that state because Lidl failed to appoint its own data protection representative.


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.