Beliefnet News

A state court in Frankfurt, Germany, awarded damages of more than 3,000 euros (about $4,250) to convicted child murderer Magnus Gäfgen Thursday morning.

The court made the award on the grounds that Gäfgen’s “human dignity” has been impinged upon during an interrogation by police — who were frantic to find a kidnapped child they thought was still alive, according to the German internet news site “Deutsche Welle.”

In fact, Gäfgen, who is serving a life sentence in prison, had already murdered the child — 11-year-old Jakob von Metzler — by suffocating him to death.

Gäfgen claimed that an investigator had threatened him with “unimaginable pain” if he did not tell them the whereabouts of the missing boy. The police questioner told him a specialist in interrogation was on the way to interview him who was trained to was trained to “inflict more pain on me than I had ever experienced.”

Gäfgen also alleged that an officer threatened to have him raped by a fellow prisoner.

The imprisoned murderer told the court that he has had psychological problems since his interogation.

On September 27, 2002, Gäfgen kidnapped Jakob, the son of the prominent Metzler banking family in Frankfurt, Germany. He demanded a one-million-euro ransom ($1.4 million) from the boy’s parents — however, he had already suffocated their child to death.

In awarding the damages, presiding judge Christoph Hefter said Gäfgen had been subject to “serious rights violations.”

The Trade Union of the Police said the ruling was “emotionally difficult to endure.” It added that police should not be deterred from using intensive techniques of interrogation as a result of the verdict.

Police defended the behavior of the officers involved, saying they believed the clock was ticking if they were to find the boy alive. The officers who questioned Gäfgen were convicted and fined in 2004, although their sentences were suspended.

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