Saturday, 23 October 2021

Dusseldorf train station alleged bomber’s trial opens after 18 years

Dusseldorf

BERLIN: A trial opens in Dusseldorf over a train station bombing that apparently targeted Jewish people and foreigners, injuring several on Thursday. The case looked set to remain one of Germany’s most infamous unsolved crimes, until now.

The trial begins on Thursday of 51-year-old Ralf S. – who is accused of attempted murder in the July 2000 bombing of a train station in Dusseldorf – which allegedly targeted mainly Jewish people and Russian-Germans.

Prosecutors dropped a previous case against the former neo-Nazi and the shelved the case but reopened their investigation after the man apparently bragged, while awaiting trial for another crime years afterwards, that he had carried out the attack.

Incident

The explosive device, which contained some 200 grams of TNT, was hung inside a plastic bag on a fence at Dusseldorf’s Wehrhahn train station and left 10 language school students from the former Soviet Union badly injured.

One pregnant woman who came from Ukraine lost her baby, and a foot, as result of the afternoon pipe bomb attack.

Police launched a major investigation and followed on hundreds of clues – with more than 900 tips from the public and testimony from more than 1,000 people — but were unable to prosecute any individual successfully.

Officers questioned current suspect Ralf S. for several hours in the wake of the bombing and placed him under surveillance, but they were unable to press ahead because of insufficient evidence.

In June 2014 a prison inmate told police that the suspect – who was briefly in custody over an unrelated offense – had boasted about carrying out the attack, using a racial slur against immigrants.

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