The German bank robber Fred Wittig (57) has been found guilty by the Antwerp assize jury of the robbery of car salesman Steve Huypens from Schilde. According to the jury, he murdered the garage owner with the intention of robbing him.
“It is beyond any reasonable doubt that on November 30, 2007, Fred Wittig was taken to the garage with a firearm. He shot Steve Huypens with the intention of robbing him and ensuring impunity, ”the jury said.
According to the jury, it is indeed a robbery. They deduce this from the fact that Wittig took Huypens’ laptop bag with him. According to the jury, the fact that he overlooked the 16,000 euros in Huypens’ pocket does not detract from that.
The jury sees evidence of Wittig’s responsibility in his telephone traffic. His cell phone revealed that he was near the garage in the hours before the murder. His cell phone was off at the time of the murder. However, his mobile also said that he was near the place on the canal in Turnhout, where the laptop bag was found a day later.
“Wittig did intend to kill,” said the jury. The jury deduces this from the second shot, which according to the law doctor could only be fatal. “He fired to insure impunity for his theft.”
With the judgment, the jury fully followed the requisitory of Advocate General Frank Bleyen.
In his last word, Wittig had maintained his innocence on Thursday morning. “I’m not the man who held the gun and fired the deadly shots.” In his own words, Wittig had only carried out a reconnaissance assignment: the days before he had kept an eye on the garage for a mysterious client, ‘Paul Verhoeven’.
His lawyers had also asked the jury to acquit the man. They pointed to 15 elements in the file that made them doubt whether Wittig could be the culprit.
They also pointed to Kevin Huypens, the then 18-year-old son of Huypens who was unfairly detained in custody for seven months. “The investigators have already made a mistake. Almost someone has been wrongfully sent to jail. Don’t let that happen a second time. ”
Lawyer Hans Van de Wal referred to the son again in his plea: “I am not saying that he committed the murder. But maybe he was a witness. I have the feeling that he can tell us more, but he doesn’t want to. ”
The jury did not follow him in this. On Friday, the assize jury will decide what punishment Wittig should receive for the robbery. He risks life imprisonment.
READ ALSO. Lawyers Fred Wittig ask for acquittal: “This looks like a settlement, not a robbery”
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