Eight German vacationers are still in detention on Mallorca. The members of the “Stramm am Tisch” bowling club are accused of starting a fire in a bar at the end of May. Now a newly emerged WhatsApp photo is supposed to prove the innocence of the cone brothers.
Eight German vacationers have been in custody in Palma de Mallorca for around a month and a half. The members of the bowling club “Stramm am Tisch” from Münster are accused of starting a fire in the bar “Why Not Mallorca”. Now a WhatsApp photo is supposed to relieve the bowling brothers.
The picture shows two men in blue club shirts sitting on the balcony just before the fire on May 20th. Behind the Germans stands a man in a black muscle shirt, apparently holding a cigarette, standing on the parapet and looking down from the balcony. He doesn’t belong to the bowling club and is even closer to the roof of the Why Not Mallorca bar that caught fire.
According to information from “Bild”, the photo of the balcony in room 1204 was sent to Germany at 2:49 p.m. Around 3:20 p.m., the fire broke out about ten meters from the cone brothers’ rooms. According to the Guardia Civil, room 1202, on whose balcony the man in the muscle shirt was standing, was uninhabited from 2:28 p.m.
The evaluation of the room cards now showed that at 3.47 p.m. someone entered the presumably empty room. According to lawyers for the bowling club members, the hotel’s system time deviates by one hour from the actual time. If you follow this line of argument, at 2:47 p.m. someone entered room 1202, which was actually empty. Exactly at the time the new WhatsApp photo was taken.
Together with the video of the extinguishing work on “Why not Mallorca”, which also shows other men on the balcony railing, doubts about the guilt of the German vacationers are growing. Investigators’ theory that the vacationers climbed onto the balcony of room 1202 to flick down cigarette butts is becoming increasingly shaky.
The “Bild” newspaper had previously reported on a fire report by the Spanish police, which is said to incriminate the cone brothers. The report said the fire was “probably produced by the throwing of a combustible previously ignited item, such as a cigarette or similar.” Individual cone brothers are not charged in the police investigation, so no individual responsibility can be determined on the basis of the evidence found. But: Since all eight cone brothers in custody were on the balcony, the presumption of innocence does not apply either.
The traces are thin, however, and the source of the ignition is still not exactly clear, says the expert Roland Goertz (52), Director of the Fire Service Research Institute FSI at the University of Wuppertal, to the “Bild” newspaper. A burning cigarette does not appear to him as a potent source of ignition. In the EU there would only be safety cigarettes with special paper that would extinguish the embers more quickly. He goes on to say: “I think this theory is very daring. It is incomprehensible to me how one wants to establish a connection between the unclear source of ignition and the accused.”
Before that, the judge responsible, Antoni Rotger, in a decision dated June 28, which is available to “Bild”, rejected release from custody due to “maximum risk of escaping”. Defender Raban Funk confirmed to the medium: “We have submitted the case to the next higher authority.”
The judge called an offer by the parents to vouch for the cone brothers with 500,000 a “real mockery of justice”. But apparently there was a misunderstanding between the lawyers and the judge.
After the holidaymakers’ lawyers initially offered the guarantee, they then paid half a million euros as “joint liability” for the fire damage to a trust account of the Spanish judiciary on Monday. According to “Bild”, the sum had not yet been received on Wednesday. “It’s an international money transfer, I can’t say how long it takes,” explains Funk.
However, the receipt of the sum would not automatically mean that the eight vacationers would be released: “But we hope for a positive effect on the question of detention.” In a next hearing, a decision can then be made on a possible release on bail.
On June 7, four vacationers had already been released from prison on bail of 12,000 euros each.
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