Jet High Jinx: Intruder Was Fast Asleep in Merkel's Bed
Volkan T. was reported on Tuesday to have been fast asleep in a bed used by Chancellor Angela Merkel when police boarded the government jet where he had partied in his underpants, high on drugs. She wasn't there. Prosecutors have yet to find a motive.
Volkan T., the bodybuilder who partied in his underpants on an empty government jet used by Chancellor Angela Merkel, was found sleeping in her bed when police finally entered the plane to get him off, Germany's Bild newspaper reported on Tuesday.
The security breach took place on the night of July 25 and criticism of the police and air force has intensified in recent days after it emerged how easily he managed to get on board, and that it took police almost four hours to secure the plane by removing him.
Volkan T., is believed to have been under the influence of marijuana and ecstasy while he partied around the plane, causing 100,000 ($133,000) in damage by spraying fire extinguisher foam around the luxury interior, deploying an emergency slide and damaging the surface of a wing. He also fiddled with cockpit controls and could technically have taken off, investigators said.
The Cologne state prosecutor's office, which is leading the investigation, declined to comment on a report in Bild that Volkan T. had been sleeping it off in the bed Merkel uses on long flights when the security forces boarded the plane shortly after midnight.
That could explain why there had been no answer earlier when a police officer on a mobile stairway outside the plane had tried to make contact with him using a megaphone.
"These are details I don't want to comment on," prosecutor Ulrich Bremer told SPIEGEL ONLINE.
Volkan T. got a rude awakening when a police dog bit him in the leg. On Saturday, Bild on published grainy images from a surveillance camera showing him being led off the plane on the night in question.
Motive Still a Mystery
Bremer said it remained unclear what Volkan's motive had been. Reports said he'd had a fight with a girlfriend, but there is also speculation that he was angry at the military for rejecting his application to become a soldier.
"We hope to get more precise information about his motives in the course of the psychiatric evaluation," Bremer said. "The evaluation has yet to take place."
He added that there was a chance Volkan T. could be confined in a secure psychiatric hospital indefinitely if the evaluation concluded that he might commit further crimes.
"There are quite a lot of possible outcomes to this case. The charges could be dropped if there's not enough evidence to prosecute him, or he could be deemed unfit to stand trial, or he could be declared to have diminished criminal responsibiliy in which case he could still be prosecuted," Bremer said.
Volkan T. faces charges of dangerous interference in aviation, trespassing and property damage. It could take five months for the case to come to trial.
Parents Hope He Will Get Treatment
He is reported to be of Turkish descent and is estranged from his parents. No photos of him have been released, but Bild published a photo of a musclebound man with a close-shaved head, a necklace and a determined look on his face.
His father, named only as Frank, told Bild on Monday: "Four years ago Volkan began speaking nonsense and accused us of plotting against him." A doctor had diagnosed the initial stages of schizophrenia. He gave up his apprenticehip as a wholesaler, started smoking dope and took steroids to build up his muscles for his hobby of bodybuilding.
Frank said Volkan got worse when the Bundeswehr, Germany's military, rejected his application. "I think this rejection was his motive to board the plane," said Frank.
His mother, Erika, said: "On the day it happened he visited us but we didn't let him in. Perhaps he'll now finally get the help he needs, and will get healthy again."
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