The trial against the suspected shooter of Idar-Oberstein began on Monday before the district court in Bad Kreuznach.

Mario N. is accused of shooting a 20-year-old employee at a gas station in September last year because he had pointed out the obligation to wear a protective mask when shopping.

The act triggered nationwide horror and was seen as an expression of the radicalization of corona opponents.

Julian Staib

Political correspondent for Hesse, Rhineland-Palatinate and Saarland based in Wiesbaden.

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In the indictment read out on Monday, the public prosecutor's office accuses Mario N. of having shot the gas station employee for base motives.

He is said to have driven home angrily after the cashier asked him to wear a mask when buying beer.

There he is said to have decided to "set a sign", he wanted to show "that there are limits" and did not want to "let the process rest on its own".

Armed with a revolver, he drove to the gas station again and went to the checkout again with a six-pack of beer, but this time wearing a protective mask.

According to the public prosecutor's office, he discontinued this in order to provoke a reaction.

After the cashier asked him to wear a mask again, N. is said to have shot him in the face.

According to the public prosecutor's office, his victim died immediately. N. is also accused of illegal possession of weapons.

He is said to have illegally possessed two firearms: a pistol and the revolver with which he is said to have committed the crime.

"Hate doesn't get us anywhere"

Mario N., a graying, bearded man of 50, appeared in court Monday without hiding his face from television cameras.

With his arms crossed and his head bowed, he waited until the trial began.

Across from him sat the mother of the dead man, who appears in the process as a joint plaintiff.

At the funeral service in Idar-Oberstein, she called for people not to be hostile to people like the perpetrator's family after the crime, because they were innocent.

"Hate doesn't get us anywhere in life.

Hate only makes you bitter,” she had said.

Actually, an admission of the accused was planned for Monday, who had already confessed to investigators.

But it did not get to that.

The defense attorneys only received extensive files from the Koblenz public prosecutor's office on investigations by the State Criminal Police Office on Monday - according to a defense attorney, there are around 1,300 pages.

According to the public prosecutor's office, the documents from Koblenz were only received on Thursday.

It is said to be further proceedings at the Attorney General's Office, which are apparently not directed against N.

In addition, it is said to be a twenty-six-page statement by a psychologist on N.

A representative of the defense sharply criticized the late delivery and asked for the session to be adjourned so that the documents could be viewed and evaluated – before the defendant entered the court.

The process will now continue on Friday at the earliest, possibly not until next week.