Murder suspect to stand trial in Germany

By PAULO SILVESTRE [email protected]

Gunnar Dorries, the German man suspected of killing his lover and their daughter at Canavial beach in Lagos in July, is to stand trial in Germany.

German authorities refused an extradition request from Portugal, saying that Germany has the means and witnesses to proceed with the trial.

Munich general attorney Joachim Ettenhofer told Portuguese news agency Lusa: “We decided that the trial should be held in Germany, because evidence exists both here and in Portugal, and the same goes for the witnesses and the background of the case.”

The alleged double murder occurred on July 10. Dorries is suspected of drowning Georgina Zito, simulating an accident, and then disappearing with their daughter Alexandra Zito, aged 21 months. 

A few hours after the incident, he went to the hotel where the couple and the child were staying and was not seen with the toddler.

Three days later, he travelled to Lisbon in a rental car and caught a flight to Munich.An autopsy on Georgina Zito showed she had injuries which indicated she had fought for her life and died in agony.

The Portuguese authorities issued an immediate European arrest warrant and he was apprehended on July 15 by the German police.

He told them that he had left the toddler with two strangers and asked them to take care of her, but the PJ police are convinced the child was killed.

According to Lusa, Gunnar Dorries appealed against the Portuguese request for extradition, citing problems with the Portuguese language and arguing that his stay in prison in Germany allows his family to visit him.

Joachim Ettenhofer added that no date to start the trial has yet been scheduled because the investigations continue.

Gunnar Dorries is being held in custody and if he is found guilty of both murders, he faces a maximum sentence of life imprisonment, which corresponds to 15 years in prison in Germany. The maximum sentence under Portuguese law is 25 years.