Germans jailed for World Cup attack on police officer
Wednesday 10 November 1999
David Nivel, the police officer who lost the sight of one eye and suffered brain damage because of the beating, sat in the court in the German city of Essen to hear the verdict.
Andre Zawacki, 28, was convicted of attempted murder and jailed for 10 years. His companions, Tobias Reifschlaeger, 25, Frank Renger, 31, andChristopher Rauch, 24, were found guilty of causing grievous bodily harm. They received prison sentences of six, five and three and a half years.
Mr Nivel has no memory of that minute of frenzy on 21 June 1998, when he was set upon by a group of German fans with their fists, combat boots, an advertising hoarding and an iron bar in Lens, northern France, after the German team had drawn with Yugoslavia at the nearby stadium.
All four of the convicted men admitted kicking Mr Nivel as he lay on the ground.
They had all been charged with attempted murder, but only Zawacki was found guilty because, in the words of the judge, Rudolf Esders, he had shown "a lust for violence".During the trial, Zawacki was identified as the assailant who had smashed Mr Nivel's head with his own tear gas canister, causing the brain injuries.
The prosecution had used photographs taken by a young Austrian, and the testimonies of other German fans.
Three of the accused apologised in court for their actions, but Mr Nivel's wife, Laurette, said she could never forgive them. "It's been very difficult," she said yesterday outside the courtroom. "It was a very long trial. But now we are finally at an end."
At one point, she confessed she feared the court might free her husband's assailants.
The attack, described by Helmut Kohl, Chancellor at the time, as a "national disgrace", stunned Germany. A collection for Mr Nivel raised thousands of deutschmarks.
- 1 Rihanna 'nude pictures' claims emerge on 4Chan as hacking scandal continues
- 2 Kim Kardashian 'nude photos' leaked on 4chan weeks after Jennifer Lawrence scandal
- 3 'F*ck it, I quit': KTVA reporter Charlo Greene quits live on air in spectacular fashion
- 4 Free U2 album: How the most generous giveaway in music history turned PR disaster
- 5 Scotland could still declare independence – even without referendum, says Alex Salmond
Rihanna 'nude pictures' claims emerge on 4Chan as hacking scandal continues
Tesco in crisis: UK managing director among four executives suspended after exposure of accounting scandal
Kim Kardashian 'nude photos' leaked on 4chan weeks after Jennifer Lawrence scandal
'F*ck it, I quit': KTVA reporter Charlo Greene quits live on air in spectacular fashion
Alicia Keys leaks own nude photo 'to create a kinder and more peaceful world'
Scotland could still declare independence – even without referendum, says Alex Salmond
Scottish referendum results: Cross-party consensus collapses amid Tory-Labour spat on the 'English question'
Hilary Mantel 'should be investigated by police' over Margaret Thatcher assassination story, says Lord Bell
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Plebgate MP Andrew Mitchell called officer a 'little s**t', claim court documents 'exposing ex-Chief Whip's 'record of abusing police'
Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God
£11280 - £14400 per annum: Randstad Education Manchester Secondary: Teaching a...
£21552 - £31588 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Randstad Education re...
£21000 - £35000 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Science teachers requ...
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Sauce Recruitment: A successful, Central London bas...