(photo credit: REUTERS)
German Rolf Zielezinski, a 63-year-old unemployed construction worker, was convicted on Monday and sentenced for 11 years in prison for killing 31-year-old Englishman Luke Holland in 2015.
Holland, who moved to Berlin to start a music business, was calling a friend when Zielezinski approached him wearing a cowboy hat, boots and a long coat and shot him dead. He then walked calmly away.
There was no motive for the killing other than Luke, an Oxford graduate who spoke fluent Japanese, was not German. The Guardian reported
that Zielezinski had also been linked to the murder of 22-year-old German of Turkish descent Burak Bektas, leading Luke’s parents to state that had German police done a proper investigation into that incident, their son might have been alive today.
In Zielzinski’s flat, various Nazi memorabilia had been found, and, during his trial, when Luke’s mother asked him why he had killed her son, he simply replied: “English.”
A heavy drinker who usually drank a bottle of alcohol a day, Zielzinski was spared a life sentence because he was deemed drunk when he shot Holland.The Telegraph reported
that the judge handling the case stated the court was unable to discover the reason for the killing. “Was it Xenophobia?” Asked the judge. "Was it an innate hostility to the people in the area [in Berlin]?”
Holland’s parents flew back and forth between the UK and Germany to attend the trial and reported they were harassed by Neo-Nazis as they went to the court and out of it.
They also said that the British Foreign Office did very little to help them. Philip Holland, Luke’s father, said that whenever they read on the news that the Foreign Office was helping the family, they just laughed. “It’s not as if they’re overburdened with British people getting murdered in Berlin,” he said.