Two cigarette smugglers on trial for murder

28th February 2005, Comments 0 comments

28 February 2005, BERLIN - In a case dating back nearly ten years, two members of a suspected Vietnamese cigarette smuggling ring went on trial on Monday in Berlin to face charges in the murder of six of their countrymen belonging to a rival group. The grisly incident took place in March, 1995, when six Vietnamese, including two women, were shot dead in the kitchen of their flat in a housing complex in the Berlin-Marzahn district. The prime defendant, a 38-year-old head of the "Quang Binh" gang, is charge

28 February 2005

BERLIN - In a case dating back nearly ten years, two members of a suspected Vietnamese cigarette smuggling ring went on trial on Monday in Berlin to face charges in the murder of six of their countrymen belonging to a rival group. 

The grisly incident took place in March, 1995, when six Vietnamese, including two women, were shot dead in the kitchen of their flat in a housing complex in the Berlin-Marzahn district.

The prime defendant, a 38-year-old head of the "Quang Binh" gang, is charged with giving the order to his followers to kill as many members of the rival group as possible.

The suspect is already serving a life prison term after being found guilty of other murders. As the trial started, the prime defendant stated only that he would not testify. "I did not take part," he said.

The second defendant, 41, is alleged to have led a three-man group which carried out the March 1995 murders. The co-defendant also remained silent at the start of proceedings.

The murders were one of the most brutal episodes in the battle for control of the illegal cigarette smuggling trade among Vietnamese groups in Berlin in the 1990s.

The March 1995 murder case took so long to come to trial because it was only in 2002 that a former member of the "Quang Binh" gang came forward to provide key evidence to police. 

DPA

Subject: German news

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