Two acquitted in attack on Ethiopian

15th June 2007, Comments 0 comments

15 June 2007, BERLIN (AP) _ Two white men were acquitted Friday of the racially motivated beating of an Ethiopian-born engineer in a case that raised fears of xenophobic attacks before last year's soccer World Cup, which turned out to be unwarranted.

15 June 2007

BERLIN (AP) _ Two white men were acquitted Friday of the racially motivated beating of an Ethiopian-born engineer in a case that raised fears of xenophobic attacks before last year's soccer World Cup, which turned out to be unwarranted.

The attack on Ermyas Mulugeta in Potsdam, outside Berlin, left the man in a coma for several weeks.

Mulugeta had been calling his wife at the time of the assault on April 16, 2006, and his attackers were recorded on her voicemail taunting him with racial epithets and other insults.

But defendants Bjoern Liebscher and Thomas Michaelis both denied involvement in the attack and said they were not at the scene. Mulugeta himself said he could not remember the attack.

In addition, the Potsdam state court was confronted with contradictory witness testimony and judges said they ruled for acquittal because of lack of evidence to prove the two were responsible for the assault.

Coming just two months before the World Cup, the attack prompted fears that neo-Nazi groups might use the soccer tournament to unleash serious violence.

Instead, Germany won wide praise for its slick organization, un-intrusive security and the warm welcome extended to an estimated 2 million foreign guests.

AP

Subject: German news

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