BERLIN (Reuters) - A 32-year-old German man admitted in court on Monday that he sold the weapon used by a teenage gunman who killed nine people in Munich last year, a court spokesman said, adding that the defendant told relatives he felt sorry for his actions.
David Ali Sonboly, 18, killed nine people before shooting himself dead. Another 27 people were injured. Police concluded the German-born Sonboly was a deranged lone gunman obsessed with mass killings who drew no inspiration from Islamist militancy.
The Munich public prosecutor’s office has charged the accused, identified only as Philipp K., as is customary in German law, with selling weapons illegally and nine counts of negligent homicide as well as five counts of negligently causing grievous bodily harm.
“A written statement was read, acknowledging that the accused had traded with weapons. The defendant expressed his regret that one of these firearms was used in the rampage here in Munich,” court spokesman Florian Gliwitzky said.
“He offered his apologies to the relatives and with this, he also expressed that he was regretting his actions.”
A spokeswoman for the public prosecutor said the suspect so far only had admitted to the charge of selling weapons illegally. She added that evidence revealed during the hearing showed that the suspect had far-right attitudes.
A defense lawyer said his client would not give any more statements in the course of the trial.
Authorities arrested the man in Marburg, about 100 km (65 miles) north of Frankfurt a year ago, after contacting him on the so-called “dark net” and posing as buyers for an automatic weapon and a Glock 17 pistol for 8,000 euros ($9,550).
During a sting operation, the suspected arms dealer said he had sold the 18-year-old Iranian-German another Glock 17 pistol during a meeting in Marburg, followed by 350 rounds of ammunition during a second meeting.
Authorities around Europe are concerned that secretive marketplaces make it too easy for criminals and militants to obtain weaponry that has traditionally been highly regulated across Europe.
Reporting by Reuters TV; Writing by Michael Nienaber; Editing by Alison Williams