City man held after gay German murdered in Spain
Posted by pozlife on June 6, 2007
AN Edinburgh man has been arrested over the murder of a gay German man in the Canary Islands, in what police believe is a crime of passion.
The 39-year-old was reportedly arrested in Gran Canaria on Monday after being found in a drug-induced coma.
It follows the death of Karl Heinz Thonningen, 44, who was stabbed on Saturday while returning from a nightclub in the Playa Del Ingles resort.
Spanish police have ruled out robbery as a motive.
They are said to believe his attacker flew into a rage after discovering Mr Thonningen was in a long-term relationship.
The Foreign Office today confirmed a man from Edinburgh was being held over the death.
According to reports he had suffered a drugs overdose in a suicide attempt. He was taken to hospital for emergency treatment.
A spokesman said: “A British man has been detained in connection with a murder in Gran Canaria. He did come from Edinburgh, however, we do not have a name to release at this stage.”
Spanish police, who only reveal the initials of suspects, have identified the arrested man as EB.
They then passed the case on to a Spanish judge to investigate, and the man, who has not been charged, is due to appear in court in private later today or tomorrow.
The area of the killing is packed with bustling gay bars and Mr Thonningen is understood to have gone on a night out while his partner stayed in the hotel.
At about 5am, he was walking along a quiet street called Calle Timple where he was staying with friends, when he was attacked and stabbed through the heart. His body was found by another holiday-maker who immediately called police.
Forensic officers cordoned off the area but have been unable to trace a murder weapon.
Ambulances attended the scene but according to reports, Mr Thonningen had suffered a violent attack and paramedics were unable to resuscitate him.
Barrie Mahoney, editor of English language newspaper Round Town News, said there had been a huge amount of speculation in the Spanish press about the death.
He said: “It’s all very sketchy but I think he is due to be charged later today. From what I’ve read in the locals we understand he [EB] was over here with his partner in one of the hotels.
“In the two years I’ve been editor here this is the first case of this kind I can recall. It’s a harmonious place so something like this really does shake a community.”
Mr Thonningen and his partner had arrived at the resort on May 26. His partner was still staying at the hotel yesterday, but staff said he was too upset to talk.”