German faces murder charges in Philippines

19th May 2004, Comments 0 comments

19 May 2004 , MANILA - Philippine police on Wednesday filed robbery and homicide charges against a German man for the gruesome killing of three Europeans, including a compatriot, and a Filipino maid in the popular resort island of Boracay. Filipino Chito Catalogo and three unnamed suspects were also charged as accomplices of 37-year-old German Uwe Frizel, an aide of one of the victims, German property developer Anton Faustenhauser, said state prosecutor Lourdes Mayor. "The police asked prosecutors to indic

19 May 2004

MANILA - Philippine police on Wednesday filed robbery and homicide charges against a German man for the gruesome killing of three Europeans, including a compatriot, and a Filipino maid in the popular resort island of Boracay.

Filipino Chito Catalogo and three unnamed suspects were also charged as accomplices of 37-year-old German Uwe Frizel, an aide of one of the victims, German property developer Anton Faustenhauser, said state prosecutor Lourdes Mayor.

"The police asked prosecutors to indict them," Mayor said. "The two identified suspects will be asked to file their counter-affidavits and if there is probable cause, we will file a case in court."

"The suspects are not under custody," she added. "They are free until such time as a warrant of arrest is issued."

Police said Frizel, a long-time resident of Boracay island, 310 kilometres south of Manila, was working as a maintenance man and caretaker at Faustenhauser's villa, where the killing took place earlier in the month.

Faustenhauser and the three other victims - Swiss millionaire and renowned art dealer Manfred Schoeni, British architect John Cowperthwaite, and Filipino maid Irma Sarmiento - were repeatedly stabbed to death.

"Uwe Frizel was also the one who reported finding the bloodied bodies of the victims," said police Superintendent Odilardo Magallanes.

Magallanes said that based on investigation, robbery was the key motive for the killing.

"It was a robbery gone wrong," added Superintendent Remus Canieso, who led the investigation into the crime. "The victims apparently put up a fight, leading to their deaths."

Canieso said police listed 200,000 pesos (EUR2,994 ) worth of cash and personal items that were taken from the Faustenhauser's villa.

"Among the missing items were a laptop computer, a cellular phone, jewellery and an electronic organiser," he said. "The suspects also allegedly took HKD 6,000 (EUR 642.50) from the victims."

Magallanes admitted that the charges against Frizel were based on "circumstantial evidence".

"His footprint matched those found in the lavatory where the murder weapon was found," he said.

The bodies of the victims were found on 3 May, and investigators believed that the crime took place on the weekend.

The killing has sparked security concerns on Boracay, a favourite destination for local and foreign tourists and famous for its powdery white sand beaches.

Boracay is home to more than 12,000 people, many of whom are Westerners who have interests in some the hotels, restaurants and bars on the island. It is considered relatively safe for tourists, being far from hotbeds of Muslim and communist insurgencies.

DPA

Subject: German news

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