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CRIME

German house of horror: bodies dissolved in acid

A family of five used a house of horror in Germany to cut up the bodies of two men they had killed – one stabbed with an ice pick, the other shot to death - and dissolve them in acid, before flushing the remains away, a Dutch court heard.

German house of horror: bodies dissolved in acid
Photo: DPA

Although the mother and two adult sons have been arrested, the father and adult daughter of the family are on the run – possibly in Venezuela.

In an extraordinary cross-border case, the Dutch authorities have been seeking help from colleagues not only in Germany, but also Belgium, a spokeswoman for Maastricht’s public prosecutor told The Local.

“This is a very unusual case,” she said. “This house of horror was just over the border in Tüddern, Germany – that is where they disposed of the bodies. But at least one was killed in Belgium and the accused family is from Holland.”

The first victim of the family, who she named as 24-year-old Alan Gergeri, said to be from Iraq, was stabbed to death with a knife and an ice pick in 2009.

Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf reported that Gergeri had raped one of the family’s sons.

Two years later, Mohammed al Jader, another Iraqi, was allegedly shot to death by the family, after De Telegraaf said he tried to blackmail them. He was hit by dozens of bullets, the paper reported.

Although at least one of the killings took place in Belgium, the family took both bodies to their house in Germany where they cut them up and dissolved them in hydrochloric acid, flushing what remained down the toilet.

“We were initially following a missing person report, when al Jader was reported missing by his family,” said the prosecution spokeswoman.

“When his body was discovered, it had been almost totally dissolved in acid; there was hardly anything left of him. We also found remains of the other man – so we accidentally found two murders rather than just the one.”

She said that although international arrest warrants had been issued on the fugitive father and daughter, prosecution proceedings would continue against the rest of the family, with a trial expected to start in May 2013.

“It is very difficult to gather evidence in this case, it needs complicated forensic research. We are getting a lot from Germany and Belgium.”

The Local/hc

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CRIME

Germany busts far-right cell planning attack on parliament

German police launched nationwide raids on Wednesday and made 25 arrests against members of a far-right "terror group" suspected of planning an attack on parliament, federal prosecutors said.

Germany busts far-right cell planning attack on parliament

More than 3,000 officers including elite anti-terror units took part in the early morning raids and searched more than 130 properties, in what German media described as one of the largest police actions the country has ever seen.

The raids targeted alleged members of the “Citizens of the Reich” (Reichsbürger) movement suspected of “having made concrete preparations to violently force their way into the German parliament with a small armed group”, prosecutors said in a statement.

READ ALSO: What is Germany’s extremist Reichsbürger movement?

Those arrested are accused of having formed “a terrorist group by the end of November 2021 at the latest, which had set itself the goal of overcoming the existing state order in Germany and replacing it with their own kind of state”, they said.

Two of the 25 arrests were made abroad, in Austria and Italy.

The Reichsbürger movement includes neo-Nazis, conspiracy theorists and gun enthusiasts who reject the legitimacy of the modern German republic.

Long dismissed as malcontents and oddballs, the Reichsbürger have become increasingly radical in recent years and are seen as a growing security threat.

Former soldiers are believed to be among the members of the recently established terror group, federal prosecutors said.

“The accused are united by a deep rejection of state institutions and the free, democratic basic order of the Federal Republic of Germany,” they said.

The suspects were aware that their plan “could only be realised by using military means and violence against state representatives,” they added.

The investigation gave “a look into the abyss” of far-right terror from the movement, Interior Minister Nancy Faeser said in a statement.

Justice Minister Marco Buschmann praised the dismantling of the “suspected terror cell” on Twitter, saying it showed that Germany was able to defend its democracy.

Russian contacts

Reichsbürger followers generally believe in the continued existence of the pre-war German Reich, or empire, as it stood under the Nazis, and several groups have declared their own states.

They typically deny the authority of police and other state institutions.

According to prosecutors, the terror cell suspects believe in Reichsbürger and QAnon conspiracy theories and are “strongly convinced” that Germany is run by a “deep state” that needs to be toppled.

They allegedly planned to appoint one of the arrested suspects, Heinrich XIII P.R., as Germany’s new leader after the coup.

He had already sought to make contact with Russian officials to discuss Germany’s “new state order” after the coup, prosecutors said.

Police before a raid on Wednesday morning in Frankfurt. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Boris Roessler

There was however “no indication that the contact persons responded positively to his request.”

A Russian woman named as Vitalia B., who was among those arrested on Wednesday, is suspected of having facilitated those contacts, prosecutors added.

As part of the preparations for the coup, members of the alleged terror cell acquired weapons, organised shooting practice and tried to recruit new followers, particularly among the military and police, according to
prosecutors.

Germany’s domestic intelligence service estimates that the Reichsbürger scene consists of around 20,000 people.

Of those, more than 2,000 are deemed potentially violent.

Germany considers far-right terrorism the biggest threat to its security following a spate of attacks in recent years.

In April, police foiled a plot by a far-right group to kidnap the health minister.

The group was affiliated with the Reichsbürger movement and the so-called “Querdenker” (Lateral Thinkers) group that opposed the government’s coronavirus-related shutdowns.

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