Archive/File: fascism/germany dpa.0494 Last-Modified: 1994/04/22 Article: 28812 of soc.culture.german Xref: oneb soc.culture.german:28812 soc.culture.europe:24892 Newsgroups: soc.culture.german,soc.culture.europe,eunet.politics Subject: Germany:NEW ARSON ATTACKS/SOLINGEN TRIAL Message-ID: <1994Apr21.firstname.lastname@example.org> From: email@example.com Date: 21 Apr 94 14:37:35 GMT Organization: ITT Publitec R+D BV, Amsterdam (fwd) Doctors fight for lives of Turkish woman, child after arson attack GOETTINGEN, GERMANY (APRIL 20) DPA - Doctors were Wednesday battling for the lives of a young Turkish woman and her two- year-old child who where both critically injured in an arson attack overnight. Police said a suspected arsonist set fire in the staircase of the three-storey house in the western German city of Goettingen. Police saw the attack in connection with a string of arson attacks carried out in Goettingen since last August. Police believe that a lone attacker is behind the fires. Although Wednesday's blaze was brought under control relatively quickly the 20-year-old mother and her child were critically injured when they inhaled smoke that seeped into their flat through an open door. A 26-year Turkish man escaped the flames by scrambling onto the roof of the building inhabited mainly by Germans. dpa mu SOLINGEN TRIAL CONTINUES ============== Background The trial of the two youths and two young adult men charged with murders of five Turkish women and girls in Solingen. It was the worst attack in a wave of anti-foreigner violence that swept Germany starting in 1990 and took the form of arson attempts on hostels for asylum-aseekers and physical assaults on foreigners. Three girls aged four, nine and 12, and an 18-year-old girl perished in the blaze which destroyed the house where 19 Turkish people were sleeping in the early hours of May 29. A 27-year-old woman died from injuries received in jumping from a top-floor window, and ten more people including a 6- month-old infant were injured, some seriously. =============== DUSSELDORF, GERMANY (APRIL 20) DPA - A young former skinhead facing five counts of murder, attempted murder and arson told a German court Wednesday he was not involved in the torching of a Turkish family's house last May 29 which claimed five lives. "I didn't do it," said the 21-year-old, on trial with three other minors and a 24-year-old adult in connection with the fiery attack which made headlines worldwide last year as the most grisly act of rightwing violence in post-war German history. Since the defendant was a minor at the time of the offence, his name is not being divulged in keeping with German law against identifying minors involved in criminal proceedings. In hours of testimony on the third day of proceedings Wednesday he told the 6th Superior Criminal Court in Dusseldorf that he and two of the defendants were drinking at a friend's house far from the scene of the crime in downtown Solingen on the evening of the attack. He said he did not arrive in the middle of town until about 2:15 a.m., when he called his mother for a ride home. Police say fire broke out at the house in the centre of Soligen at 1:38 a.m. After being driven home by his mother, he added, "I went to bed and fell asleep. I was surprised when I was arrested a few days later, because I didn't do it," the 21-year-old said. "I hope the truth comes out." In earlier testimony, a 16-year-old defendant also denied participation in the torching. But the one adult defendant, Markus Gartmann, 24, admitted to the court in early testimony that he and the other three defendants had set the fatal fire. Wednesday's testimony by the 21-year-old provided an outline of his past as a problem child and rightwing skinhead. "I admit I used to be a skinhead," he told the court. "But that was just a phase I went through. It was just a rush, just alcohol, sex and fun. But I was never into the anti- foreign thing and running around shouting 'sieg heil'. Anyway, I'm over all of that now, and no way am I a racist," he testified. However, Presiding Judge Wolfgang Steffen read aloud from the defendant's diary, in which the 21-year-old wrote of "foreigner swine" who were "doomed to burn". In response, the defendant said he is now "deeply very sorry" about the diary entries and maintained he had "never planned to carry out" any of those threats. The trial of the two youths and two young adult men charged with murders of five Turkish women and girls in Solingen last May opened April 13 with tears and an admission of guilt. "I am boundlessly ashamed," the oldest of the four defendants, Gartmann, 24, told the court. The four defendants range in age from 16 to 24. All are from the Solingen area near Duesseldorf. The prosecution is portraying hatred of foreigners as the motive for the attack which sent shockwaves through Germany and beyond. The defence says the prosecution has only circumstantial evidence. It was the worst attack in a wave of anti-foreigner violence that swept Germany starting in 1990 and took the form of arson attempts on hostels for asylum-aseekers and physical assaults on foreigners. Three girls aged four, nine and 12, and an 18-year-old girl perished in the blaze which destroyed the house where 19 Turkish people were sleeping in the early hours of May 29. A 27-year-old woman died from injuries received in jumping from a top-floor window, and ten more people including a 6- month-old infant were injured, some seriously. The court has earmarked 39 days for the trial, which is expected to run through October. dpa eg ----------------------------------------------------------- opinions expressed belong to the mentioned sources. Opinions do not have anything to do with my employers. Reforwarded from trh.
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