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CRIME

Two go on trial for brutal ‘homophobic’ murder of 1990s pop star in Berlin hostel

On Wednesday the trial started of two men who allegedly sexually assaulted pop singer Jim Reeves so violently last year that he died a painful death due to the injuries.

Two go on trial for brutal ‘homophobic’ murder of 1990s pop star in Berlin hostel
Jim Reeves. Photo: DPA

The two Polish defendants, aged 23 and 30, maintained their silence on the first day of the murder trial in a Berlin court.

They are accused of torturing the 47-year-old Reeves to death in a six-bed hostel room in the Charlottenburg district in January 2016. Prosecutors argue that there was a homophobic motive behind the crime.

According to the Süddeutsche Zeitung, Reeves was staying in the hostel after recently splitting up with his partner. On the morning of February 1st another hostel guest found him dead.

The two defendants reportedly told police investigators after their arrests that they had felt insulted by Reeves, who they claimed had attempted to chat them up.

A postmortem showed that Reeves had been horrifically tortured before his death. His attackers had raped him using a large object and the assault was so violent that he died due to internal bleeding.

The two defendants were passing through Berlin at the time of the crime. Police in Poland arrested one of them a few weeks later. Once he had served time for a different crime in Poland he was extradited to Germany. The other man was arrested in Spain at a later date after attempting to flee with €7,000 in cash.

Reeves was the front man of the eurodance band Squeezer, which hit the peak of its popularity in the late 1990s. They sold over a million records worldwide, with their biggest hit Sweet Kisses hitting the top of the singles charts in Spain in 1996.

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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