Mobile recording put online in hunt for attackers
19 April 2006, POTSDAM, GERMANY - German police Tuesday put online a chilling 39-second recording of racists harassing a black man just before they savagely beat and kicked him at a city tram stop.
19 April 2006
POTSDAM, GERMANY - German police Tuesday put online a chilling 39-second recording of racists harassing a black man just before they savagely beat and kicked him at a city tram stop.
With the victim still in a coma and in danger of death, federal prosecutors responsible for crimes against democracy took charge of the hunt for the attackers. A spokesman for Prosecutor-General Kay Nehm said the attack undermined public safety in Germany.
The 37-year-old victim, an Ethiopian-born irrigation engineer who is naturalized as a German, suffered serious head injuries in the attack around midnight Saturday in Potsdam, just outside Berlin.
His mobile phone was connected to his wife's voice-mail box at the time, and the attackers, one with a high voice, were recorded as they called him a "dirty nigger" and tried to pick a fight with him.
After the muffled and indistinct recording was broadcast on radio and TV in a bid to identify the attackers, police made it available online at a public affairs website, www.internetwache.de
The victim remained in a medication-induced coma at Ernst von Bergmann Hospital in Potsdam where doctors said they hoped he would recover but could not predict if he would have permanent brain damage.
A national Jewish leader charged that the presence of neo-Nazi gangs in the Potsdam area was the fault of the government.
Stephan Kramer, secretary of the German Council of Jews, told the Tagesspiegel newspaper of Berlin this was the result of "failed policies on youth". Neo-Nazi parties recruited youths who had no youth centres to go to, he said in the interview to appear Wednesday.
Subject: German news