Police commander's shooting trial underway

Reinhardt (left) arrives at Chur townhall accompanied by his lawyer, Lorenz Erni Keystone

A Swiss police commander who issued a shoot-to-kill order against a gunman is on trial in the south-eastern town of Chur.

This content was published on February 26, 2002 - 14:49

Markus Reinhardt has been charged with intentional homicide and faces five years in prison for ordering the killing of a 22-year-old gunman last March 26. Zurich lawyer Lorenz Erni is defending 53-year-old Reinhardt.

Prosecutor Robert Akeret headed an inquiry into the incident and concluded that Reinhardt acted in self-defence. However, canton Graubünden's court decided to reopen the investigation after the victim's family appealed the ruling.

Gunman opened fire

A marksman killed the gunman at his apartment, after the victim shot and wounded two policemen. Swiss police staged a ten-hour siege of his apartment following reports he had stepped out onto his balcony and opened fire with an assault rifle.

The siege began in the morning after the gunman had reportedly shot at a restaurant opposite his Chur apartment, breaking windows in the conservatory.

When police attempted to storm his apartment, they were forced to retreat after he opened fire and seriously injured a policeman.

Another policeman was hit in the arm when the gunman burst from the apartment in the early afternoon to fire at policemen in the staircase.

swissinfo with agencies

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