'Slow suicide' of murder suspect prevents trial
Published: 22 Oct 2012 12:30 GMT+02:00
Updated: 22 Oct 2012 12:30 GMT+02:00
A man charged with shooting dead a prosecutor in a German courtroom is refusing treatment for diabetic septicaemia in what his lawyer describes as “slow suicide” - preventing his trial, it was reported on Monday.
- Judges call for rethink on court security (13 Jan 12)
The 55-year-old man, named only as Rudolf U., had been in court in Dachau, Bavaria in January on charges relating to fraud and not paying social security contributions.
As his sentence of one year, suspended, was being read out, he produced a gun and shot at the judge, who ducked out of the way. He then fired at the 31-year-old prosecutor, hitting him in the shoulder, stomach and arm. Despite attempts to save him, Tilman T., who had recently married, died in hospital.
Rudolf U.’s trial for murder was due to start on Tuesday, but the hearing has been postponed indefinitely because he is so ill – and is refusing treatment, saying he wants to die.
He has diabetes, which has already resulted in one leg being amputated. Now, his second leg also needs to be removed and he has blood poisoning, Die Welt newspaper said on Monday.
But he is refusing treatment and is instead choosing to commit what his lawyer Maximilian Kaiser called “a slow suicide”. Doctors have explained to him clearly that without medical intervention he will most likely die.
They cannot treat him, as he told them explicitly that “I want to die,” said Kaiser. He added that his defendant had experienced 35 cases of harassment since shooting the prosecutor, who the German press named as Tilman T.
“A new date will be set as soon as the condition of the accused allows it,” the court said in a statement.
The shooting prompted outrage that a man could enter a courtroom carrying a gun. No-one checked him despite what one witness said had been the transport firm owner's previously aggressive behaviour.
“It would be hard for relatives of the murdered prosecutor, and for the judiciary, to handle if the defendant could not be charged,” said Beate Merk, Bavaria's state justice minister.