Bulgaria’s Ministry of Justice probes suicide in detention of German murder accused

Bulgaria’s Ministry of Justice was expected to announce on September 3 2012 the outcome of a rapid investigation into the death in detention of a German citizen who apparently committed suicide while in custody on a charge of murdering a compatriot a few days earlier.

Rolf Gremmel (34) was in custody, allegedly having confessed to the August 29 murder of fellow German Henry Stenberg (48) after a night out in Bulgaria’s Black Sea city of Bourgas.

After Stenberg’s death, Bulgarian-language media said that fatal stabbing had followed a jealous dispute over a woman, another German.

Reports said that while in custody, Stenberg had been upset and had demanded to be allowed to watch television. A warden on late night duty found him hanging from the cable of a television set.

The death led to an investigation by Deputy Justice Minister Plamen Georgiev, on the orders of Justice Minister Diana Kovacheva.

Bulgarian media said that it was expected that there would be disciplinary steps against officials in charge of the detention facility, as well as a review of items allowed in prison cells.

Gremmel’s trial on the murder charge had been due to begin in the next few days. The Interior Ministry said earlier that he had made a full confession to the murder.

(Photo:  Amir Darafsheh)



The Sofia Globe staff

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