German court acquits sole suspect in billionaire son′s kidnapping | News | DW | 27.11.2018
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German court acquits sole suspect in billionaire son's kidnapping

A Serbian national has been found not guilty in the high-stakes kidnapping of German billionaire Reinhold Würth's son. The victim had been found strapped to a tree after a ransom payment failed to go through.

A German court on Tuesday found the main suspect of a high-profile kidnapping not guilty.

The only evidence considered by authorities to have linked the suspect to the crime was an audio recording of the ransom demand.

Prosecutors had called for a prison sentence of 3 1/2 years for the 48-year-old Serbian national accused of the kidnapping. He was arrested in March after a witness said she could identify the voice in the audio recording.

Read more: 'Cold War-style kidnapping' — Berlin waits in vain for signal from Hanoi

Unsolved mystery

In 2015, Markus Würth — son of German billionaire Reinhold Würth — was abducted. The kidnappers demanded a ransom of €3 million ($3.4 million). However, the transfer failed to go through.

Würth, who has a mental disability, was found uninjured a day later while strapped to a tree in a forest near the Bavarian city of Würzburg.

With the only suspect acquitted, the high-profile crime remains an unsolved mystery.

Read more: In Germany, justice varies from place to place

Carmen Würth and her lawyer stand side by side

Carmen Würth (left), Markus' mother, wants justice for her son

Self-made billionaire

Reinhold Würth, dubbed "The Screw King," took over his father's wholesale screw business at the age of 19 with his mother.

He transformed the family business into Würth Group, a multibillion-dollar worldwide supplier of "assembly and fastening materials for the automotive, construction and engineering trades."

American business magazine Forbes has ranked him as the 105th richest person in the world, with a net worth of $13.6 billion (€12 billion). 

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ls/es (dpa, AFP)

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