Hesse: Four-year-old boy suffocated in a sack: BGH overturns murder verdict

Karlsruhe/Hanau (dpa/lhe) - Almost three quarters of a year after the Hanau Regional Court's murder verdict against a suspected cult leader in the trial of a boy suffocated in a sack, the Federal Court of Justice (BGH) overturned the decision.

Hesse: Four-year-old boy suffocated in a sack: BGH overturns murder verdict

Karlsruhe/Hanau (dpa/lhe) - Almost three quarters of a year after the Hanau Regional Court's murder verdict against a suspected cult leader in the trial of a boy suffocated in a sack, the Federal Court of Justice (BGH) overturned the decision. With a decision that became known on Monday, the procedure was referred back to a jury chamber of the Frankfurt am Main district court for a new hearing and decision, the district court in Hanau announced on Monday. Accordingly, from the point of view of the federal judges, the criminal division should have dealt more closely with the question of whether it was "an act of killing through active action or such through omission".

In addition, when the alleged intention to kill the accused was determined, their ideas about the course of the crime were not sufficiently addressed, the statement said. Instead, "inadmissible reference was made to previous actions - instructions to the child's mother - without at the same time describing and substantiating the internal conception of the crime that was valid at the time," the BGH found, according to the district court. The federal judges had also demanded that the criminal responsibility of the accused had to be re-examined.

The alleged cult leader was sentenced to life imprisonment by the Hanau Regional Court in September 2020 for murdering the child. She had appealed the verdict. A trial against the four-year-old's mother, who was also accused of murdering the child, has been going on in the Hanau Regional Court since mid-September last year.

The public prosecutor had accused the Germans of putting the boy in a sack, tying it up and putting it in the care of the alleged cult leader. The child reportedly passed out and choked on his vomit. A few weeks ago, the Hanau district court suspended the arrest warrant against the woman because, according to the current status of the process, there was "no longer any urgent suspicion" of a joint murder. There is also "no weighty evidence" for aiding and abetting the murder. The woman's trial will continue this Tuesday (May 24).

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