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German police raid home over threats made to Austrian doctor

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BERLIN (AP) — German prosecutors said they conducted a search on Friday at the home of a man suspected of threatening a doctor whose death shocked neighboring Austria.

The body of Dr. Lisa-Maria Kellermayr, a general practitioner who had reported receiving death threats from opponents of COVID-19 restrictions and vaccinations, was found at her practice in a rural area of northern Austria a week ago. Austrian authorities say she took her own life.

Kellermayr announced in late June that she was closing the practice temporarily after more than seven months of receiving death threats. She said she had spent over 100,000 euros ($102,000) on security.

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In mid-July, Kellermayr said was closing the practice permanently because she couldn’t “offer any perspective for whether or when it will be possible for us to work under ‘normal’ circumstances.” Her death shocked Austrian political leaders, while local authorities’ handling of the threats has drawn critical scrutiny.

Prosecutors in Munich who investigate extremism took over an investigation of a suspect in Germany this week. On Friday, they said police had raided the home of a 59-year-old from the Starnberg area, near the Bavarian capital, who is suspected of threatening the doctor on social media.

One tweet said that “we are watching you and we will bring such creatures before the people’s tribunals to be set up in the future,” they said. The suspect was cooperative during Friday’s raid and investigators are evaluating material that they seized, prosecutors said.

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The lead came from prosecutors in Wels, Austria. They had dropped an investigation of their own on the grounds that the suspect and the alleged crime were in Germany and German authorities were responsible for the case, but said Friday they have reopened it, the Austria Press Agency reported.

They said the doctor’s death put the case back in their jurisdiction and they were working with German prosecutors.

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