Berlin court sentences killer of ex-president′s son to 12 years | News | DW | 08.07.2020
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Berlin court sentences killer of ex-president's son to 12 years

The man who stabbed Fritz von Weizsäcker, the son of late German President Richard von Weizsäcker, would be detained in a psychiatric institution. Attacking the family had been a "life goal," he told the Berlin court.

A German court described the deadly stabbing of Fritz von Weizsäcker, the son of ex-president Richard von Weizsäcker as "vigilante justice" while passing a sentence of 12.5 years for the assailant.

The regional court in Berlin ruled that defendant Gregor S., who is identified publicly without a family name in accordance with German law, was guilty of murder and attempted murder for a knife attack. The 57-year-old defendant is to be placed in a psychiatric institution.

According to the prosecutors, the man held the former president partially responsible for the production of Agent Orange, the deadly toxin used by the US military in Vietnam. This stemmed from Weizsäcker's work for a pharmaceutical company in the 1960s, years before he took the presidency in 1984 and stayed in office for the next 10 years.

Richard von Weizsäcker died aged 94 in 2015. His son Fritz, a medical doctor and a senior internal medicine specialist, was attacked after giving a lecture at the Schlosspark Hospital in Berlin. At the time, he was 57. A police officer who intervened in the assault was also injured.

"Fritz von Weizsäcker did not even have time to raise his hands in defense," prosecutors said.

During the trial, the defendant said he felt no remorse and that attacking the family had been among his "life goals."

The prosecution cited the defendant's extreme hatred of the former German president and his family as the motive behind the attack.

The assailant was not previously known to authorities. Following the stabbing, he was sent to a psychiatric unit, where he was diagnosed as having an "acute psychological illness."

dj,kp/msh (AFP, dpa)