A German-Russian man was yesterday to go on trial, accused of carrying out a bomb attack on the Borussia Dortmund team bus in an elaborate bid to make a fortune on the stock market.
The blasts shattered the bus windows, leaving Spain international Marc Bartra, 26, with a wrist injury. A police officer also sustained inner ear damage in the April 11 assault.
The suspect — named only as Sergei W — was arrested 10 days after he allegedly set off three explosive devices hidden in a hedge as the bus was leaving the team hotel for a Champions League match.
Investigators had initially feared a militant link after letters purportedly suggesting a fundamentalist motive were found at the scene.
However, questions quickly arose over their authenticity and an Iraqi man taken into custody was soon cleared of involvement.
Days later, police swooped on W, an electrical technician, charging him with 28 counts of attempted murder, causing explosions and serious physical injury. His financial motive then emerged.
W was staying in the same Dortmund hotel as the players, had a view of where the bombs went off and had bought so-called put options on the team’s shares on the day of the attack, prosecutors said.
Dortmund is the only soccer club in Germany that is listed on the stock exchange.
For his money-making scheme, W allegedly took out about 50,000 euros (US$59,350) of credit to finance the purchase of options.
They could have been sold at a pre-determined price by June 17, more than two months after the attack, when a sharp fall in the share price would have promised a high profit.
“A significant drop in the price could have been expected if, as a result of the attack, players had been seriously injured or even killed,” prosecutors said.
However, W sold the options in the days after the attack, making just 5,900 euros.
“We have never experienced such an attack that turned out in the end to be such a perfidious form of stock market manipulation,” Germany criminal police unit head Holger Muench said.
W faces life in prison if found guilty, although in Germany parole is usually granted after 15 years.
Citing unnamed investigators, Bild said police believed the suspect was capable of building a remotely-triggered bomb, having won an educational award in electronics and engineering in 2005.
The bombs each contained up to 1kg of a hydrogen peroxide fuel mixture and about 65 metal studs, prosecutors said.
W drew attention at the hotel, reported Bild, first by insisting on a window room facing the front and then, in the pandemonium after the blasts, by calmly walking into its restaurant to order a steak.
Dortmund lost their postponed game against AS Monaco a day after the attack, prompting then-coach Thomas Tuchel to rail against the Union of European Football Associations for not giving the players time to come to terms with their fears before playing the match.
APPROPRIATE RESPONSE: The Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan expressed ‘sincere regret’ for publishing the image on its in-house magazine and Web site A satirical mock-up depicting the Tokyo Games logo as the novel coronavirus has been pulled from online after Olympic organizers branded it “insensitive” and said that it infringed copyright. The design combines the distinctive, spiky image of the coronavirus cell with the blue-and-white Tokyo Games logo. It appeared on the cover of the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan’s magazine. The Tokyo Games have been postponed until next year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has left hundreds of thousands of people dead and halted sport worldwide. Club president Khaldon Azhari yesterday said that the club had decided to withdraw the image and remove
Uncertainty grips next year’s postponed Tokyo Olympic Games: Will there be fans or empty stadiums in 14 months? How will thousands of athletes, staff members and technical officials travel, be housed and stay safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic? And the Tokyo Games are not the only event. China, where COVID-19 was first detected, is to hold three mega-sports events in the year after the Tokyo Olympics are set to close. The World University Games in Chengdu, China, are to open, with up to 8,000 athletes, only 10 days after the Tokyo Games close. Next come the Beijing Winter Olympics beginning on Feb. 4, 2022,
The COVID-19 pandemic has stalled young Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas’ burgeoning career, but he remains philosophical about the tennis shutdown. The world No. 6 would have been preparing for the French Open that was originally scheduled to start this weekend, but was postponed to September. While he is missing life on the ATP Tour, Tsitsipas believes that the lockdown has given the planet a breather. “I actually think they should put us in lockdown once a year — it’s good for nature, it’s good for our planet,” Tsitsipas said in an Instagram Live conversation for At Home With Babsi on Eurosport’s Instagram page. “I
When South Korea’s domestic women’s golf tour held its premier event last week — without spectators because of the COVID-19 pandemic — no fewer than three of the world’s top 10 players took part. The country of 52 million people has a disproportionate share of the women’s world golf rankings, providing eight of the current top 20. In a demonstration of their prominence, South Korean women have won at least one major every season since 2010, with coronavirus cancellations perhaps the biggest threat to their run this year. The phenomenon, players and commentators have said, results from driven parents, intense training, a highly