Status: 27.09.2023, 16:25 p.m.
The defendant covers his face in the courtroom. © Rolf Vennenbernd/dpa
In 1987, the innkeeper's daughter Claudia Otto was murdered. A man has been accused of the crime for a long time, but a first trial against him fell through. Now the Bonn Regional Court is making a new attempt.
Bonn - The 36-year-old robbery murder of the innkeeper's daughter Claudia Otto has been occupying the Bonn district court again since Wednesday. An already convicted double murderer is accused of strangling the 23-year-old in 1987 in her apartment above her parents' restaurant in Lohmar. According to the indictment, he is said to have stolen the daily income of 6100 euros from the safe.
On the first day of the trial, the German again asserted his innocence. "I have nothing to do with the crime with which I am charged," he had his defense lawyer explain. Otherwise, the defendant seemed disinterested, leafing through a briefcase, even seemed to be a little amused when the presiding judge projected investigation documents onto a screen using a beamer.
The man from Detmold had to answer for the crime before the district court last year. But at the beginning of December, the first trial against him was surprisingly suspended because two crucial DNA traces that could prove his guilt may not have been properly examined by the Institute of Forensic Medicine at the University of Munich. Traces of the victim and the accused could have been mixed in the laboratory, it was said at the time. The court then revoked the arrest warrant and ordered a re-examination of the traces. The Chamber now wants to present the result on the next day of the hearing.
The concrete worker had been targeted by investigators shortly after the murder because he had worked on a construction site near the "Naafshäuschen" excursion restaurant and had often been a guest at the restaurant. However, the suspicion could not be substantiated at the time. A textile fibre that had been taken from the corpse with a foil at the time did not match any of the defendant's clothing, nor did a shoe print and fingerprints match him.
It was not until December 2017 that a genetic fingerprint was found in the "cold case" using new DNA analysis methods, which led to the defendant's first arrest. However, since a second DNA trace of an unknown person was found at the same time, the crime could not be proven to him with certainty. After a re-examination, the unknown investigator was identified as an employee of the State Office of Criminal Investigation, and the suspect was then initially taken into custody again in April 2022.
The defendant is a convicted double murderer who has been in prison for more than half of his life. In 1988, he had killed a child and his grandmother in the Sauerland region in connection with a planned kidnapping. In this case, he had made a confession at the time, while he always denied the killing of Claudia Otto. Dpa