German synagogue shooter given life sentence

A man has been sentenced to life in prison for killing two people in a shooting attack near a synagogue in eastern Germany last year.

The accused, referred to by authorities as Stephan B., was found guilty of murder, attempted murder and incitement, according to court spokesman Wolfgang Ehm.

"After a total of 86 witnesses were heard it became clear that there were considerable differences to what the accused told the court. He did by no means fully confess. There were differences which explains the long duration of the trial."

He confessed to the crime and to having a far-right, anti-Semitic motivation.

The shootings took place in the city of Halle on Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement, and were live-streamed online.

Prosecutors said he aimed to kill as many as possible of the more than 50 worshippers and only his poor aim and home-made weapons prevented a higher death toll.

The court's sentence includes a provision for preventive detention, which denies any release after a sentence is served to protect the public from dangerous offenders.