Acquittal in the murder trial of a pensioner killed in Munich in 1978

The British defendant was accused of killing a pensioner in his apartment in Munich in December 1978.

Acquittal in the murder trial of a pensioner killed in Munich in 1978

The British defendant was accused of killing a pensioner in his apartment in Munich in December 1978. The trial faced major challenges because the crime took place so long ago. The majority of the witnesses and the police officers investigating at the time are no longer alive. The defendant did not comment on the allegations.

However, it was proven that the defendant was in the pensioner's apartment on the day of the crime. Witnesses confirmed that the pensioner had an appointment with a "young Englishman" that evening, which applies to the defendant. One of the man's hairs was also found in the victim's bed. Three fingerprints were also traced to the defendant in the bathroom.

However, the court explained that the chamber could not rule out the possibility that there was another man in the apartment. A neighbor observed this. This makes it possible that the second man killed the pensioner when the defendant was no longer in the apartment.

In any case, the crime could not be considered murder with certainty. The murder characteristic of greed is eliminated because there was a gold bar clearly visible in the apartment after the crime. Although one of the victim's rings was certainly stolen, the decision to do so could also have been made after the killing.

In addition, the chamber was unable to determine the “exact sequence of events”. This means that a malicious murder cannot be proven. What would remain is criminal liability for manslaughter. However, this would already be statute-barred.

The defendant was arrested in Great Britain in March 2023 and has been in extradition and pre-trial detention since then. He must be compensated for his time in prison. The arrest warrant was revoked. The verdict is not yet legally binding.

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