There may be new circumstantial evidence concerning the attack on the Munich Oktoberfest 34 years ago. The victims’ lawyer is again filing a motion for a retrial.
The attack on September 26, 19 lives. Photo: dpa
Following new evidence, the Federal Prosecutor’s Office is considering reopening the investigation into the Oktoberfest attack 34 years ago that left 13 dead and more than 200 injured. The reason is a request from the victim’s lawyer Werner Dietrich from the end of September, said a spokesman for the Federal Prosecutor’s Office on Monday at the request.
The authority thus confirmed a report of the Suddeutsche Zeitung of the same day. According to the report, Dietrich is said to have located a witness who names a suspected accomplice in the attack of September 26, 1980.
The investigations into the attack were discontinued in November 1982 because, according to the Federal Prosecutor’s Office, no evidence was found at that time that other perpetrators had been involved in the attack apart from the right-wing extremist student Gundolf Kohler, who had died at the time, despite 1700 witness hearings and over a hundred expert reports.
According to the newspaper, the witness named by Dietrich has now testified to the Federal Prosecutor’s Office that she found flyers with an obituary for the assassin Kohler in the locker of the suspected accomplice on the day after the attack – even before his name was publicly known. The Federal Prosecutor’s Office is currently examining the reliability of the information.
Stasi questioning in 2010 also remained without result
The Federal Prosecutor’s Office now pointed out that all investigations since 1980 had produced no evidence of suspected accomplices. At the request of the victims’ attorney, numerous follow-up investigations had already been conducted in 19 additional witnesses had been questioned, some of them several times, but without any new findings. In 2010, two former high-ranking officers of the East German secret service Stasi and a former right-wing extremist were questioned – also without results.
Therefore, according to the state of knowledge so far, Attorney General Harald Range was not entitled to resume formal investigations, the authority said. However, all new leads would be carefully examined. Renewed investigations are difficult because the evidence room with all evidence was destroyed. In 2013, there were reports that NATO units had been involved in the assassination.
The then 21-year-old geology student and former supporter of the far-right "Wehrsportgruppe Hoffmann", Gundolf Kohler, had on 26. September 1980, a bomb was placed in a waste garbage can near the main entrance to the Wiesn. The explosive device detonated. The bomber and twelve other people died, and 211 people within a radius of 30 meters were injured, some of them seriously.