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CRIME

Berlin pressures US to free convicted murderer

Berlin is pressuring US authorities to release a German national serving two life sentences on double murder charges, saying he would have been released years ago according to the German penal code.

Berlin pressures US to free convicted murderer
Photo: DPA

Human rights commissioner Markus Löning said Wednesday that he’d paid a visit to Jens Söring in Virginia in hopes of having the 44-year-old former diplomat’s son returned to his home country.

Söring is serving a double life sentence after being charged with helping his American girlfriend murder her parents in 1985 when he was 18-years-old. At the time, he admitted his participation in the crime but later retracted his confession.

He still maintains his innocence.

US authorities have refused to pardon Söring or grant him a suspended sentence, which the German embassy in Washington DC has been working to change.

“Publicly we can do very little,” human rights commissioner Löning said on Wednesday after returning from his trip to the US. “But we’re trying to do everything we can in the background.”

The question of the prisoner’s guilt or innocence plays “no role,” he said.

“Söring has been sitting in prison for almost a quarter of a century. With that he has long since served his punishment according to our interpretation of the law.”

DPA/ka

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CRIME

German jailed for life in double police murder

A German man was given a life sentence on Wednesday for shooting dead two police officers to escape being caught for illegal game hunting during a routine traffic check.

German jailed for life in double police murder

The regional court in Kaiserslautern found 39-year-old Andreas Schmitt guilty of the killings in January this year, which sent shockwaves across Germany.

His co-defendant, referred to by the court as Florian V., was found guilty of abetting illegal poaching.

The 33-year-old was in the car with Schmitt when the officers discovered dead game in the boot, investigators said.

“We are all to this day horrified that a supposed routine control could turn into a fatal incident,” Interior Minister Nancy Faeser said in a statement after the verdict.

READ ALSO: German prosecutors say poaching led to double police murder

The victims were a 24-year-old woman police officer still in training and her colleague, a 29-year-old man.

The young woman was killed by a single shot to the head, while the man was shot four times, investigators said.

The officers were able to report that they were checking a suspicious vehicle and that shots were being fired before radio contact broke off.

When backup arrived, the woman was already dead and the man fatally injured. The perpetrators had fled the scene.

The crime in the Kusel district of Rhineland-Palatinate state triggered a major manhunt, with police deploying helicopters and sniffer dogs, sealing off roads and warning local residents not to pick up hitchhikers.

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