Brazilian police have arrested a German diplomat for allegedly killing his husband at their home in Rio de Janeiro before attempting to cover up the crime.
Police say Uwe Herbert Hahn, a German consul, told authorities that his partner of 23 years and husband of 20 years, Belgian national Walter Henri Maximilien Biot, had taken ill on Friday, Aug. 5, collapsing and fatally hitting his head.
But an autopsy of the body and an investigation of the couple’s apartment, located in the swanky Ipanema neighborhood, claims that Biot had been severely beaten to death, according to CBS News.
“The version of events given by the consul, that the victim suffered a fall, is incompatible with the conclusions of the forensics report,” officer Camila Lourenco said in comments posted on social media by Rio de Janeiro’s 14th police precinct.
“[The forensics report] found various bruises, including on the torso, compatible with injuries inflicted by stomping, as well as lesions compatible with an attack with a cylindrical instrument,” Lourenco added. “The cadaver is screaming out the circumstances of its death.”
The precinct’s Instagram account posted pictures of what appeared to be blood stains on the floor and furniture of the couple’s apartment.
Local media reports say that Hahn told police who arrived on scene that has husband had been drinking taking sleeping pills before his death, which occurred just a week before his 53rd birthday.
Video of a police interview released to CNN Brazil reportedly shows Hahn explaining to police that his husband had been acting nervously or “strange” in the days leading up to his death. In the video, Hahn claims that the couple were seated on the sofa when Bio stood up suddenly and ran toward the balcony before falling face down on the floor.
Hahn also claimed that he thought Biot was drunk and took a photo of his husband, sending it to a friend with the message: “Walter is drunk again.” But when he tried to pick Biot up to take him to bed, he noticed his husband was bleeding.
A judge has denied Hahn’s claim of diplomatic immunity, which would have allowed him to be released from jail.
According to CNN Brazil, Judge Rafael de Almeida Rezende cited alleged attempts to tamper with evidence as justification for keeping Hahn in police custody and denying his claims of diplomatic immunity.
In the decision, the judge wrote that “the apartment was cleaned before the forensics team carried out its examination, a fact that by itself demonstrates that the release of the suspect in custody could lead to serious encumbrances to the collection of evidence.”
The forensics report also “detected blood splatter on the property, markedly in the couple’s bedroom and in the bathroom, compatible with the dynamics of a violent death.”
A source form the German Foreign Office told CNN that an “employee posted to the Consulate General in Rio de Janeiro” had been arrested, adding that the German Embassy in Brasilia and the Consulate General in Rio de Janeiro “are in close contact with the Brazilian authorities investigating this case.”
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