Murder case Frederike writes legal history: Suspect again in custody

Celle (Lower Saxony) – Will the von Möhlmann family finally experience justice?

For years, Hans von Möhlmann fought to ensure that the murderer of his daughter Frederike finally received just punishment. The father even brought about a change in the law. Again NDR now reported, his fight seems won: the murderer of his daughter is again in custody.

In 1981 Hans von Möhlmann (78) lost his daughter Frederike. She was 17 years old when Ismet H. raped and murdered the girl and dumped her body in a forest near Celle in Lower Saxony. At that time, H. was acquitted for lack of evidence.

In 2012, a modern DNA analysis showed that he was the perpetrator after all. But German criminal law is treacherous. According to the law, an acquitted murder suspect cannot be charged twice! Frederike’s father fought for a legal reform, wanted to ensure that his daughter’s murderer could be charged again despite the acquittal. With success!

Union and SPD changed the law in the summer (applies only to murder and genocide). BUT: Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier (65) still had to sign it. He had the reform reviewed for months because of constitutional concerns before signing in December 2021.

On January 1, 2022, the legal reform came into force. Now processes can be rolled up again to serious proceedings, even if the suspect was earlier legally acquitted. It would be the first time that a German court would charge a person a second time in the same case after an acquittal.

Father successful after petition with legal reform

Hans von Möhlmann fought for the reform for decades. According to NDR, the Lüneburg district court had sentenced the murderer of his daughter to life imprisonment in 1982 for murder. The Federal Court of Justice then overturned the judgment with reference to proceedings at the Stade Regional Court, which H. had acquitted due to a lack of evidence. Von Möhlmann did not give up and submitted a petition with over 100,000 signatures to the Federal Ministry of Justice in 2016. In it, he and the signatories demanded that trials could be resumed if new scientific findings made it possible to convict them.

Von Möhlmann’s tireless fight could finally ensure justice.


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