A man accused of killing a gas station employee who asked him to wear an anti-Covid mask started in court in Bad Kreuznach in Germany on Monday.

The accused, 50 years old, is suspected of having fired on September 18, at the time of payment in a service station in Idar-Oberstein (Rhineland-Palatinate), on the cashier, 20 years old.

Altercation over the wearing of the mask

This murder had particularly shocked Germany, where a virulent anti-mask and anti-vaccine movement has formed since the start of the pandemic.

The suspect, also on trial for illegally carrying a firearm, had an initial altercation with the cashier over wearing the mask, before returning an hour and a half later and shooting him at point-blank range.

The accused had, according to the prosecution, developed rage against the anti-Covid measures.

"As he knew he could not reach the politicians, he decided to kill" the young employee, prosecutor Nicole Frohn said during the first hearing Monday morning.

The trial, which is to take place until May, must in particular determine whether the accused was linked to groups on the Internet likely to have incited him to take action.

The obligation to wear a mask indoors has been extended in Germany in most regions, while the number of new contaminations with the Omicron variant remains particularly high in the country.

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