Long prison sentences threaten
What is known about imprisoned Malé vacationers
A tour group of bowlers from Munster is suspected of starting a fire in Mallorca. How many conned brothers are still in custody, what the possible punishment might look like and what the suspects themselves say. The most important information at a glance.
Eight young Germans have been vacationing in custody in Mallorca for more than two weeks. You and four others are said to be responsible for a fire that injured two. What is known about the case so far:
What do German vacationers accuse?
The suspects are said to have started a fire near Palerman on May 20. They threw burning cigarette butts and alcohol from the balcony of their hotel room onto the thatched roof of the restaurant terrace below. The ceiling caught fire and two bars, an apartment and parts of the restaurant were damaged. Two people were slightly injured. The damage to property was initially about 150 thousand euros per room.
Who are the suspects?
According to media reports, the suspects are 13 men between the ages of 24 and 29 who belong to a bowling club in Münster. The group wanted to spend a long weekend in Mallorca.
How many are already on the loose?
Four Germans were released on bail. According to WDR, because their rooms were not on the side of the street where the fire broke out. The young men left Palma prison on Tuesday evening at about ten o’clock in the evening, according to what was reported by the newspaper “Diario de Mallorca” and other regional media, quoting judicial departments on the Spanish island. It added that bail payments of 12,000 euros transferred from relatives in Germany had previously been received. The lawyer wrote that the transfer was delayed due to the Pentecost holiday.
One suspect was released on Friday unconditionally. He was able to establish that he was taking a shower when the fire broke out.
Why are eight members of the tour group still in detention?
The investigating judge handling the case refused to release the remaining eight Germans on bail. The newspaper “Majorca Zeitung” wrote that a witness saw how they caused the fire. However, the newspaper reported “apparently contradictory testimonies”. However, there are eyewitness reports that the young men initially banged their bodies, laughed and photographed the first flames with their mobile phones before realizing the gravity of the situation.
What do the men themselves say?
During their interrogation last Thursday, the detainees denied causing the fire, according to the newspaper “Majorca Zeitung”. They noticed the fire and wanted to help fight it. To sound the alarm, they climbed the balcony. This was interpreted as an attempt to escape. The Cone brothers indicated their chat dates, which would confirm their version of the story.
According to their lawyers, the families of the suspected vacationers collected 500,000 euros in joint liability. The Spanish investigating judge had fixed the amount of compensation for the damage caused by the fire in the event of conviction. Lawyer Raban Funk from Stolzenau in Lower Saxony announced that the money will soon be deposited in the Spanish judiciary. The lawyer wrote in a statement that the suspects wanted to confirm their willingness to cooperate.
The lawyer also said that an expert report on the source of the fire commissioned by the Spanish investigative body was not yet available. However, this report “will reveal more moments of objective innocence,” the lawyer wrote. The Mallorca Zeitung writes that the investigating judge has also set a date for further witness hearings, during which German lawyers hope to clarify the cause of the fire. It is not yet clear whether charges will be brought.
What are the penalties for vacationers?
According to two lawyers interviewed, the suspects could face between one and three years in prison if charged and convicted of negligent arson. She added that in the case of intent and endangerment of human life, the sentence could be more severe. Arson is one of the most severely punished crimes in Spain.
RTL interviewed attorney Arno Miser, who is familiar with Spanish law. Accordingly, a prison sentence of 10 to 20 years is possible. It’s important to distinguish between negligence and intent: “If someone threw a glowing cigarette snippet from the ceiling, that obviously looks like negligence,” Mazer said.
How long can Germans remain in custody?
Attorney Meuser does not expect the investigation procedures to be completed quickly. With so many potential participants in the crime, it could take a few months. It also depends on how cooperative the Germans are: “Cases like this can last longer, up to one year. The maximum pre-trial detention in Spain is two years,” Meuser told RTL. In exceptional cases, this can be extended to four years.
Are Germans released on bail allowed to leave the country?
“Spanish law stipulates that a person who is released on parole must be presented intermittently to the local police station,” Arno Meuser rated for RTL. However, since none of the suspects has permanent residence in Mallorca, it is unlikely that they will have to stay at the hotel for several months to report to the Mallorca Police Station from time to time. “There has to be a temporary solution,” Moser said. For example, he could imagine cooperation with the German authorities.