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Subject: Law Student Admits Killing 11-Year-Old Kidnap Victim


Author:
Germany
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Date Posted: April 12, 2003 12:48:20 EDT

A German law student on Friday admitted kidnapping and killing the 11-year-old son of a prominent Frankfurt banker in a bid to extort money to impress his girlfriend.

"I know I did something horrible that I would really like to take back, but know that I can't," Magnus Gaefgen, 28, told the Frankfurt state court. But he insisted he had not intended the Sept. 27 kidnapping "to end in death" for Jakob von Metzler - a crime that shocked Germany.

Jakob von Metzler's body was found Oct. 1 last year, four days after he was abducted.

Gaefgen, who knew Jakob's older brother and sister, said he had met the boy outside his school and told him that his sister had left a jacket at his apartment which he could pick up. Once there, Gaefgen said, he taped the boy's mouth shut and tied his hands and feet - strangling him when he started to fight back and shout.

The opening of Gaefgen's trial Wednesday was marked by allegations of torture following revelations that a senior Frankfurt police official ordered officers to threaten the suspect with "intense pain" during questioning.

Police say they acted in the belief that the boy was still alive and were desperate to save him, but the court ruled that the threat of force made Gaefgen's earlier confession invalid.

In sometimes tearful testimony Friday, Gaefgen said he wanted the money to impress his rich friends and in particular his girlfriend.

"I wanted to fulfill her every wish," Gaefgen said - quickly adding "I'm not trying to excuse what I did."

The victim's father, Friedrich von Metzler of the private Metzler Bank, and other family members did not attend Friday's session, and relatives have said they will not appear in court.

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