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Court exonerates man who spent 13 years in prison for murder

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The accused killer in Germany’s so-called “bathtub murder” has been acquitted at a retrial after spending more than 13 years in prison for the alleged crime.

Manfred Genditzki spent years fighting for a retrial after being convicted for allegedly drowning an elderly woman in the bathtub of the Bavarian apartment building where he was a caretaker.

Presiding judge, Elisabeth Ehrl told Genditzki on Friday that “now it is time. You heard the legal opinion that you’ve been waiting for almost 14 years.”

She said the government must compensate him for the wrongly imposed prison sentence.

The court ruled that the old woman, for whose alleged murderer Genditzki was once sentenced to life in prison, most likely died of an accident and wasn’t the victim of a crime at all.

Experts had testified that a crime was unlikely. One expert testified that a homicide was “theoretically possible” but that there was “no actual evidence” for it.

The prosecution had urged the court to acquit Genditzki at his retrial.

Genditzki, 63, reacted calmly to the verdict, but there were tears in the packed courtroom. He has consistently maintained his innocence in the case.

Following his acquittal, Genditzki is now entitled to financial compensation that critics consider far too low. He is set to receive a total of €368,400 ($401,000), or €75 per day he spent in prison.

In addition to compensation, he could also claim material damages such as lost earnings during his time behind bars.


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