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Thursday, March 16, 2017

Weapon Vendor’s Case Reopened: Charged with Negligent Homicide in Munich Shooting

The Federal Public Prosecutor’s Office of Frankfurt extended the warrant and investigation into Philipp K. for “negligent homicide in nine cases.” Philipp K. was initially arrested for violating weapon laws in Germany, but further investigation has been initiated

Investigators arrested the vender nearly a month after the shooting, posed as undercover buyers. He admitted selling David Ali Sonboly a Glock 17 and several rounds of ammunition during communication with undercover officers. Officials believed the 31-year-old arms dealer had no knowledge of what his customers would do with the guns.

Georg Ungefuk, a spokesperson for the Federal Public Prosecutor’s Office of Frankfurt, told a local newspaper:

The arrest warrant was initially issued only because of the violation of the arms laws. The further investigation of the secured communication from the supposed arms dealer on the Darknet – the anonymous area of the Internet – however, showed indications of negligence. There was no evidence that the 31-year-old Marburger knew what the amok gunman had in mind.

This has now changed, according to Ungefuk. K “could have known that his customer with weapons might kill people,” he said.

On October 17, we learned the vendor had been working with police and investigators to catch other, larger suppliers. “He has confessed and cooperated with the investigating authorities,” said a spokesman for the Frankfurt Prosecutor’s Office. His cooperation, the spokesperson claimed, is being used to further investigations into other vendors and buyers.

He provided law enforcement with his computers, login information for various services, and decryption keys. Officials would not disclose information as to which arrests were linked to the vendor—or if there were any. He bragged, prior to his arrest, about selling to a 62-year-old accountant and a 17-year-old student. Investigators looked into both buyers but no results were made public.

Communications between the vendor and David Ali Sonboly were recovered and examined for any missed details.

The vendor’s initial claim was that he only sold to collectors and those who showcased guns.

However, forensic analysts came across information on Philipp K.’s devices that reversed the ignorance he once claimed.

Messages showed no doubt as to what the 18-year-old shooter was planning to do with the weapon. The Federal Public Prosecutor’s Office of Frankfurt shared the relevant information with the district court in Marburg where the vendor was initially arrested. The courts were in agreement and the indictment—as well as the warrant and investigation—were changed to reflect the findings.

The darknet arms dealer is now facing nine counts of negligent homicide and four counts of negligent bodily injury. All charges stem from the Munich shooting but, depending on what the further investigation yields, more charges related to wilful negligence may reported. He currently sits in custody with no end in sight.
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