Suspected Kiental killer stands trial

In Thun, a man is on trial who is said to have pushed two friends into a ravine in Bern’s Kiental. One survived the fall, the other didn’t.

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Because he is said to have pushed two men into a ravine in the Kiental, a man in his mid-sixties has to answer to the regional court in Thun. (Archive image) – sda – KEYSTONE/PETER SCHNEIDER

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the essentials in brief

  • The regional court in Thun is today dealing with the case of a suspected murderer.
  • The over 60-year-old man is said to have pushed two acquaintances into a gorge in the Kiental.
  • One of the men survived and was found injured by a motorist.

A man who is now over 60 years old has been in front of the regional court in Thun since Thursday. In 2019 he is said to have pushed two men he knew into a ravine in the Kiental in the Bernese Oberland. One survived, the other didn’t.

Prosecutor wants 19 years in prison

The public prosecutor’s office on Thursday demanded a prison sentence of 19 years. The accused always denied having anything to do with the death of one Afghan in May 2019. On Thursday he exercised his right to remain silent.

In her pleading, the prosecutor explained that the defendant knew the subsequent victim very well. Appropriate data was found on mobile phones that proved a contact. Overall, the evidence would give a picture that would indicate the perpetration of the accused.

The defendant also knew the Afghan man who survived the fall into the Gries Gorge in November 2019. He admitted this in court on Thursday. They had had a very good sexual relationship for several years.

The victim now told the regional court that he lived through the incident “over and over again”. He was friends with the 65-year-old defendant and also had a sexual relationship with him, he stated in court. They usually met in remote, quiet places.

Victim had “fear of death”

On the day of the incident, his friend told him he wanted to measure something. When he got to the Gries Gorge, the man put one end of a measuring tape in his hand and instructed him to stand at the edge of the ravine.

Suddenly the acquaintance pushed him. At first he was able to hold on to a tree, but his friend released his grip and he fell several meters into the stream.

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A PostBus drives in the direction of Griesalp near the Gornernbach near the so-called “Hexenkessel” in the Kiental in the Bernese Oberland. (icon image) – Keystone

He was scared to death that he could be pulled deeper and deeper into the water. Finally, he was able to save himself on a sloping ledge and hold on there. He was completely soaked and was freezing. One of his feet was injured.

Out of fear he spent the night in the ditch. A lot went through his head. What bothered him the most was how someone could do something like that. He was born in Afghanistan during the war and lived during the war. He fled to Switzerland because he hoped for a better life here.

In the morning he managed to climb out of the gorge and stop a car. Then people would help him. They then alerted the police.

The alleged perpetrator denies Schubser

The 65-year-old alleged perpetrator denies the allegations. The one man who survived the incident in November 2019 tripped and fell into the ravine. The accused said in court on Monday that he had a good relationship of a sexual nature with the Afghan.

“We never had a fight, never a problem,” he said. They would have done a lot together. They often went to remote places for sex, including the Gries Gorge in the Kiental.

On the evening in question, they did measurements in the forest in the Kiental. The young Afghan suddenly stumbled and fell into the stream. He did not see him again and heard no calls for help.

So he went home, had supper and did office work. He did not get any help because he assumed that it would be too late anyway, the accused said.

On the side of the gorge, small DNA traces were found on a tree that pointed to the victim, the court president held against the accused. If he had pushed the man into the creek, traces of him would have been found, the accused replied.

Parallels to another case

In the course of the investigation, the police found parallels to a case in May 2019. It was assumed that it was an accident.

At that time, the body of a young Afghan was found in the Gornernbach in the Kiental. According to the police, there were no indications of third parties at the time.

The investigators are now examining this case again. They found that the young Afghan and the alleged perpetrator may have known each other. Shortly before the time of death, they were still in contact.

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The chairlift in the Kiental. – Tourism Adelboden-Lenk-Kiental

Based on the extensive investigations, the suspicion that the 18-year-old Afghan may have been the victim of a homicide was confirmed. The accused refused to testify in this case on Thursday. He had nothing to do with it, he asserted, even after the court accused him of having been in telephone and text message contact with the subsequent victim.

Also accused of having sex with minors

Furthermore, the accused is accused of numerous sexual offenses involving children and minors for payment. The man admitted that he had sex with young men for money. In some of the cases he was accused of, however, he denied that his sex partners were minors. In other cases, he said the young men told him they were 18 years old. Everyone would have known what they were getting into: “Sex for money”.

Most of his alleged victims came from Afghanistan. There, sex between men is the order of the day, the accused testified in court. He sometimes saw the young men at train stations and spoke to them.

The defendant is in early prison. The presumption of innocence applies until a final judgment has been passed.

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