Police identify all Asians in German slayings

9th February 2007, Comments 0 comments

9 February 2007, Sittensen, Germany (dpa) - A gangland-style slaying at a Chinese restaurant in Germany killed people from four Asian nations, police said Thursday after autopsies and other work to identify the victims. Two victims, a waitress aged 38 and a kitchen-hand aged 32, were Vietnamese citizens and had been living near the Lin Yue restaurant in Sittensen where the killings took place, police said in Hanover. Two men, also from Vietnam, have been arrested as prime suspects in the Sunday night blood

9 February 2007

Sittensen, Germany (dpa) - A gangland-style slaying at a Chinese restaurant in Germany killed people from four Asian nations, police said Thursday after autopsies and other work to identify the victims.

Two victims, a waitress aged 38 and a kitchen-hand aged 32, were Vietnamese citizens and had been living near the Lin Yue restaurant in Sittensen where the killings took place, police said in Hanover.

Two men, also from Vietnam, have been arrested as prime suspects in the Sunday night bloodbath. A police announcement revised their ages to 33 and 31. Detectives refused comment on media speculation that organized crime might have led to the seven deaths.

The other newly identified victim was a male cook aged 57 from Hong Kong with a British National Overseas (BNO) passport. The 36- year-old Hong-Kong-born owner of the restaurant had a full British passport, as did his 28-year-old wife, who had been born in Berlin.

The ethnic Chinese couple lived over their restaurant, which was popular among locals in the town between Bremen and Hamburg. Their 2- year-old daughter survived the attack uninjured.

The other two victims, a Thai male cook, 31, and a Malaysian waitress, 39, had legal domiciles an hour's drive from Sittensen. The waitress's husband discovered the bloodbath when he went to fetch her from work to the place in Sittensen where she stayed.

Police said scientists were still doing forensic work at the crime scene, while detectives were checking out 200 clues and items of evidence. They declined to further identify the accused, saying this might create a tactical disadvantage to the police.

A lawyer, Wilfried Behrendt, representing one of the suspects, 31, detained when his rental car was stopped on a country road Monday, said, "My client told me he has nothing to do with this, and neither does his friend."

The attorney said he had applied for his client's release and believed a fellow lawyer from the same law office would do likewise for the other Vietnamese. Both had earlier been remanded in custody by a magistrate in the town of Wildeshausen.

The 31-year-old suspect has lived for several years in a neat, new four-apartment block surrounded by gardens at Osterholz on the outskirts of the city of Bremen, neighbours said.

Reporters could see a golden Buddha statue on the balcony of one of the apartments, part of a smart new housing estate.

Police refused to comment on news reports that the man had a police record. Behrendt confirmed he had legally represented the client for a considerable period, but declined to say in what matter this was.

Neighbours said the other suspect had recently moved into the block after living in the nearby German town of Ahlhorn. Police have searched all the premises and said they had seized documents, but gave no other details.

Police spokesmen said they did not know the ethnic or language affiliations of the non-Hong-Kong victims or of the suspects, but a Chinese source said names on the apartment doors of the arrested men did not sound Chinese.

With police offering very few details on the case, German media have speculated on a connection with Vietnamese criminal gangs operating in Berlin and the east of Germany, where a sizeable community from Vietnam was established in the communist period.

DPA

Subject: German news

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