Father of murdered German teenager pleads for truth as trial begins

Almost 10 months after a German teenager was abducted and murdered, her father pleaded for the truth from the two men suspected of the crime, as the trial started on Monday.

The court in Dresden heard that one of the two men had spent weeks planning the abduction in August 2015 and wanted to extort money from the teenager's family, according to chief prosecutor Karin Dietze.

The victim, 17-year-old Anneli-Marie, was the daughter of a local businessman. Police found her body in the nearby town of Lampersdorf after she was kidnapped and held for a ransom of 1.2 million euros (1.3 million dollars).

For the first time since Anneli-Marie's murder, her parents and sister came face-to-face with the suspects, aged 40 and 62, both unemployed and in debt.

Her father attempted to describe what the family has gone through. "To lose a child in such circumstances, to bury your child and to endure such a loss ... is for me ...," was all he managed to say before breaking off mid-sentence.

Dietze accused the 40-year-old suspect of kidnapping and killing the high school student.

His accomplice faces charges of murder and kidnapping for ransom.

The prosecutor said the main suspect had tracked Anneli-Marie's movements and knew the route she took to walk her dog. She was seized not far from her parents' home.

The key suspect, a trained chef who appeared in court wearing a baseball cap, is thought to have "dragged the girl into the car boot" and tied her up using cable ties, according to the charges against him.

He then allegedly used the teenager's phone to contact her father with a ransom demand, before suffocating her using a plastic bag.

The prosecution believes that Anneli-Marie was killed because the man realized "that the girl would recognize the culprits if she survived."

The plot was described by police at the time as ill-conceived.

The suspected accomplice gave the court details of his personal life on Monday. But the key suspect remained silent.

As the victim's father struggled for words, her sister fought back tears. While the prosecutor described the crime, the suspects appeared, at least outwardly, unmoved.

"Speak! Tell the truth," Anneli-Marie's father shouted in the courtroom, despite a warning from the judge.

The trial is expected to last until the end of August, stretching over 15 days with accounts from 21 witnesses.

Last update: Sun, 21/08/2016 - 12:59
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