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Two Indians in German manslaughter retrial

Two Indians went on trial in Germany Friday on charges of fatally stabbing two Pakistanis in a German highland tourist resort two years ago.

india Updated: May 13, 2006 01:28 IST

Two Indians went on trial in Germany Friday on charges of fatally stabbing two Pakistanis in a German highland tourist resort two years ago.

It was the second trial for Harinder Singh Sanghera, 29, and Samandeep Singh, 27 after winning an appeal on a technicality. At their first trial they were found guilty of manslaughter and sentenced to 78 and 75 months respectively.

Samandeep, who is HIV positive, successfully prevented the first witness, a doctor, testifying on Friday by claiming she was obliged to remain silent about him under the Hippocratic oath.

The stabbings in the picturesque town square of Schneeberg, a resort close to the Czech border where tourists come to enjoy mountain views, followed friction between staff at two take-away pizza bars, one staffed by Indians and the other by Pakistanis.

Tensions reached their height during the fatal daytime confrontation on the town square on Jan 27, 2004. A third man survived injuries.

The May 2005 manslaughter conviction was quashed on appeal because judges took more than 10 days to consider it.

The defendants had both entered Germany with claims for political asylum but these were rejected.

Presiding judge Gerolf Mueller adjourned the trial in Zwickau, 200 km south of Berlin, until next week.