Twelve years in prison for acid attack on Innogy manager
In the trial of the acid attack on the CFO of the RWE subsidiary Innogy more than four years ago, the regional court in Wuppertal sentenced the suspect on Thursday to twelve years in prison. The board found that he was guilty of intentionally serious and dangerous physical injury, according to the court. For example, the 42-year-old from Belgium committed the attack on Bernhard Günther on March 4, 2018 in Haan together with another perpetrator.
They attacked the then 51-year-old manager from behind in a park in Haan near Düsseldorf, brought him to the ground and detained him. At that point, the manager came back from a run alone. One of the two poured highly concentrated sulfuric acid into Günther’s face. As a result, he suffered deep burns to his head and neck, as well as to his arms and legs. The two assailants fled after the attack.
According to the verdict, it was an act of commission. Based on the 42-year-old’s DNA, which was found on a glove at the crime scene, and other evidence, he was one of the perpetrators. The act is based on a “special criminal energy”. It was carefully planned.
According to the court, the presiding judge, Holger Jung, described them as “barely surpassing in terms of rudeness and contempt for people”. The attack had serious psychological consequences for Günther, who was 51 at the time. He and his family were concerned about further actions.
The now convicted man was arrested without resistance in the Belgian province of Limburg on 14 December last year and later extradited to Germany. Extensive research had previously shown that his DNA matched traces found at the crime scene.
The investigation process kept getting stuck. The Wuppertal prosecutor’s office initially dropped the investigation into the attack in 2018 because the identity and motives of the perpetrators could not be clarified. The investigation was later resumed based on anonymous tips.
Meanwhile, other suspects were considered suspects. In October 2019, a man was arrested in Cologne. However, the allegations against him could not be substantiated and therefore the investigations against him were closed. He was released after about a month.