The German government has vowed to do “everything in its power” to prevent the death of a German national sentenced to death by a Chinese court. The sentence announced on August 20 by a Xiamen, Fujian court follows a 2011 conviction, in which the German citizen was found guilty of killing his ex-girlfriend and her partner.
German Foreign Ministry spokesman Martin Schäfer said Berlin is doing everything it can to stay the execution:
The German government categorically opposes all forms of capital punishment … and this of course applies all the more when German nationals are threatened abroad. Therefore, I can assure you that the federal government will do everything within its power with the aim that this sentence … if at all possible, is not carried out or that it is changed.
The death penalty was abolished in West Germany in 1949 and in East Germany in 1987.
Before the man can be put to death, the judgment must be confirmed by a higher court and then by China’s Supreme Court.
The convicted murderer has been identified as 36 year-old “Philipp B” from Teisendorf in Bavaria by the German press, but as “Phillip Martin” by What’s On Xiamen when the murders first took place.
Philipp B is guilty of murdering 29 year-old Venezuelan national “Jennifer M” and 39 year-old German national “Jörn-Christian H” with a hammer and knife in an alley near the Marco Polo Hotel in Xiamen at night on June 6, 2010.
Philipp B had studied sinology with his ex-girlfriend in Munich before they broke up in 2005. The victim went to study in Xiamen in 2006, and it is believed the killer stalked “Jennifer M” and followed her to Xiamen with the intention to commit murder.
Philipp B’s lawyer Chen Liqun said no decision has been made yet regarding a possible appeal. If the man is executed, he would be the first German national put to death since the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949.
Photo: Hotel Ungou