Niklas Pöhler case Suspension of investigation shocks Niklas’ mother

Bonn · The brutal act caused consternation nationwide in 2016: The pupil Niklas Pöhler was beaten up in Bad Godesberg and dies. Now the public prosecutor's office has closed the files. Mother Dénise Pöhler is stunned.

For her, the fact that the investigations into the death of her son have been discontinued is a hard blow. "I am still in a state of shock," she said on GA request. Worse still: She learned about the decision of the public prosecutor's office from the media. This had been "so shortly before Niklas’ third anniversary of his death, again completely free of empathy“. The fact that the murder of Niklas remains unpunished for the time being "is unimaginable for me as a mother, but also for most people," says Dénise Pöhler.

"I often ask myself how I have survived this myself until now", but there are infinitely many people "out there" who support her and who would think of her. Justice and lawyers had not been much help in that terrible time. As the only reliable constant she names her pastor, the then Bad Godesberg pastor and today's Bonn city chancellor Wolfgang Picken. "I can only hope that one of the witnesses will break his silence," says Dénise Pöhler. And mentions the 14,000 Euro reward still offered. "It seems to me as if all this only happened yesterday. Everything is totally present."

Public prosecutor's office stops investigations"

The perpetrator could not be identified, because the entire environment is adamantly silent," said the Bonn Attorney General Robin Faßbender at the request of the German Press Agency. 17-year-old Niklas was beaten to death in May 2016. "We still assume that many people know who did this, but nobody tells us," said Faßbender. "In this case, however, we are dependent on the testimony of witnesses. If someday someone should decide to break his silence, the investigation would be resumed“, said Faßbender. The then 21-year-old Walid S. was accused of alleged perpetrators of assault and battery with fatal consequences.

But the trial before the Bonn Regional Court ended with an acquittal for lack of evidence. Walid S. had always denied the accusations. The 23-year-old is known to the police. Among other things, he was suspected of having been involved in several fights. This was also the case during the night of 10 February at Bonn University's main building. A 26-year-old man was attacked so brutally that, according to the police, he had to be admitted to hospital with serious head injuries. A few days later, Walid S. was arrested and has been in custody ever since.

The public prosecutor's office in Bonn obtained a warrant for the arrest of the 23-year-old man for dangerous bodily injury. The reason for his arrest: risk of recurring offenses.

No statements from possible witnesses

At the moment one sees no possibility to "make potential witnesses talk", Faßbender said on GA inquiry. He did not want to say anything about the question of how investigators and the public prosecutor's office felt after the investigation had been discontinued. Only this much: It is a special case, one of those cases in which he always asks to only inquire about the emotions of the public prosecutor's office in a few years' time - namely "after my retirement. At the moment, unfortunately, there is only the official point of view“.

Niklas and his friends had come across a group of men after going to a concert in Bonn-Bad Godesberg. The 17-year-old received a blow to the temple and fell to the ground. Then he was kicked in the head. He died a few days later in hospital. The crime had caused concern nationwide.

(Original text: with material from dpa; Ayla Jacob)

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