Finland Dane was acquitted of a 1987 ferry attack on backpackers. Helsinki – In one of Finland’s oldest unsolved criminal cases, a Finnish court on Wednesday charged a 52-year-old Dane with murder and attempted murder 30 years ago on charges of attacking two young German backpackers on a Baltic ferry.
20-year-old Klaus Schelkle is killed and 22-year-old girlfriend Betina Taxi is severely injured in a brutal attack while sleeping on the outer deck of Viking Sally while en route from Stockholm, Sweden to the port of Turku, Finland wore July 1987.
The crime took place in Finnish waters near the Aland Islands archipelago.
The ship was later sold and renamed, and seven years later it was lost and sank in one of Europe’s worst peacetime maritime accidents. After decades of investigation, Finnish police have concluded that the main suspect is a Danish man, believed to have first arrived at the scene to help victims of an 18-year-old Boy Scout who went to an International Jamboree in Finland last year. in complex cases.
The man denied all charges in a week-long trial that ended in late May. He returned to Denmark without being detained. A district court based in Turku, western Finland, said the prosecutor “did not prove that the accused was the only person who had the possibility and opportunity to commit the crime in question.”
The court also emphasized that “the accused had no knowledge of a murder weapon that only the perpetrator could possess” and that no murder weapon was found. Prosecutors claimed that the man had previously confessed to a crime and that he was seeking life in prison for him. They argued that it was impossible for an outsider who had just happened to arrive at the scene in the first place because Dane gave detailed descriptions of the incident during investigations and media interviews.
According to Danish and Finnish media, the man has a criminal history, including prison terms for armed robbery and illegal possession of weapons. In April, the Danish tabloid BT reported that he had sent a threatening message to his ex-wife in 2015-16 and boasted to her that he had committed her unspecified murder.
However, a Finnish court dismissed the confession charge in its judgment.
“The defendant did not plead guilty to the crime in such a way that his guilt was proved or even could be considered probable,” the court said. German troops were airlifted from the ferry to the hospital in Turku, where Schelkle was found dead. The taxi survived but had no memory of the assault. Prosecutors said the weapon used was stolen from a ferry with a hammer-type tool and thrown into the sea by the perpetrators.
Viking Sally was later sold to an Estonian shipping company and sailed under the name M/S Estonia. Then, in September 1994, the ferry from Tallinn to Stockholm, the capital of the Baltic States, sank in the Baltic Sea, killing 852 people.