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Kidnapper Gets Life Sentence

A FORMER law student who admitted kidnapping and murdering the 11-year-old son of a prominent German banker was sentenced to life in prison.
Citing the severity of the crime, the state court said Magnus Gaefgen, 28, would be eligible for parole only after 18 years - instead of the customary 15.
Gaefgen pleaded guilty to killing Jakob von Metzler, describing to the court how he lured the boy to his apartment on Sept. 27, suffocated him by taping his mouth and nose shut. then wrapped the body in plastic bags and stuffed it under a dock beside a lake.
He demanded a million euros ransom and was arrested after police observed him picking up the cash paid by the boy's father, Friedrich von Metzler, three days after the boy's disappearance.
The case made headlines in Germany, not only for the prominence and youth of the victim, but because of admissions that Frankfurt police threatened Gaefgen with "intense pain" to obtain a confession during initial questioning. '
Police defended the tactic, saying they hoped they could still find the boy alive Frankfurt prosecutors are investigating possible charges of unconstitutional activity against vice police chief Wolfgang Daschner, who led the investigation.
Judge Hans Bachl threw out the confession when the trial opened in April.
Nonetheless, Gaefgen's lawyer has said he would challenge a severe sentence in the nation's constitutional court, saying the police tactics should be taken into account. The defense was seeking parole after 15 years.
The Frankfurt-based Metzler Bank is one of Germany's oldest and has been in business 325 years. Friedrich von Metzler belongs to the 11th generation of the founding family, which still owns and runs the bank.

Courier Mail (29-7-2003)
Correspondents in Frankfurt, Germany.




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