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CRIME

Kachelmann trial delayed again

The trial against Germany's high-profile TV weatherman Jörg Kachelmann was suspended for a second time on Monday, less than an hour after it had resumed one week following the defence's unsuccessful demand for the top judges to be recused.

Kachelmann trial delayed again
Photo: DPA

Proceedings at the Mannheim district court were cut short just after charges were read when Kachelmann’s lawyers requested a discussion with judges, state prosecutors and the plaintiff’s lawyers.

Meanwhile Kachelmann’s former long-time girlfriend, who has accused the 52-year-old of threatening with a knife and raping her on February 9, reportedly said she no longer wanted to take part in the trial.

The latest hiccup in the case came after the district court turned down the defence request to have two lead judges removed on the first day of the trial last week due to doubts over their impartiality. The move had forced authorities to postpone the trial after just a few minutes, but on Friday it was announced that the two judges in question would remain as the trial resumed.

The Swiss-born weather expert and founder of Meteomedia weather service faces up to 15 years in prison if he is found guilty of charges he denies.

Some 25 witnesses have been called to testify before the court in the southwestern state of Baden-Württemberg, among them “various female witnesses from the circle around the accused” and five experts, according to prosecutors.

Kachelmann was arrested at the Frankfurt airport on March 20, 2010 and held on remand for four months until late July. A Mannheim court had said they had insufficient evidence to continue holding him.

A verdict in the trial is expected at the end of October.

DAPD/ka

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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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