The trial on the kidnapping and murder of 17-year-old Anneli-Marie has opened in Dresden. One of the suspects has confessed to being partially complicit in the kidnapping, but denies taking part in the murder.
More than nine months after Anneli-Marie R. was kidnapped and killed, two suspects in the case went on trial in Dresden's regional court on Monday.
Two men, the 40-year old Markus B. and the 62-year-old Norbert K., are accused of abducting the teen and killing her.
Norbert K. admitted on Monday to being an accessory to kidnapping and ransoming by driving the car that was used in the crime. The defense rejected allegations that the 62-year-old was involved in the plans for killing Anneli.
Markus B. is accused of killing the high-school student one day after the kidnapping "to cover up another crime," according to the prosecution. The 40-year-old main suspect wore a baseball cap and remained silent in court on Monday.
"Norbert K. knew very well about the plan to kill Anneli," public prosecutor Karin Dietze said in court. "But he did not stop (Markus B.) from the murder."
Suspects 'decided to kill her'
Dietze told the court that Markus B. planned the kidnapping weeks in advance by monitoring Anneli and her parents before convincing his friend to take part. He hoped to improve his financial situation through ransom money.
The men allegedly ambushed Anneli, whose father is a businessman, last August while she was taking a walk with her dog near her parents' house in the eastern town of Klipphausen in Saxony.
Markus B. supposedly dragged her into the trunk of a car and bound her hands and feet with zip ties. They immediately called Anneli's parents using her phone, and later demanded a ransom of 1.2 million euros ($1.33 million).
The suspects "made the decision to kill her," Dietze said, once they realized that Anneli would be able to identify them in the future - as the men did not wear masks during the kidnapping.
The 40-year-old then placed a plastic bag over her head, wrapped ties around her neck and strangled the girl to death, according to prosecutors. Her body was found five days later.
During the trial, Anneli's parents and older sister took the stand as witnesses.
"Our lives have completely changed," said Anneli's father.
The court is set to deliver a decision in August later this year.
rs/rc (AFP, dpa)