Weatherman Kachelmann released from jail

Four months after he was arrested for allegedly raping his girlfriend, weatherman Jörg Kachelmann was released from custody on Thursday.

Weatherman Kachelmann released from jail
Photo: DPA

A court in Karlsruhe ruled that there were now no immediate grounds for holding Kachelmann, 52, and ordered that the Swiss-born former television weatherman be released.

The ruling does not, however, mean that Kachelmann is off the hook: he still faces trial in September for allegedly threatening his long-term girlfriend with a knife and raping her.

Kachelmann was arrested at Frankfurt airport and has been imprisoned on remand since March 20 at a prison in Mannheim.

The court decided the evidence against him was not sufficient to continue holding him in custody. The complainant, Kachelmann’s girlfriend, was the sole prosecution witness and the case was therefore “her word against his,” the court said.

It could not be ruled out that the complainant had made false accusations, nor that she herself caused the injuries she claimed to have suffered during the rape, the court said.

Kachelmann’s lawyer, Reinhard Birkenstock, said: “Thank God there are still judges.”

The Karlsruhe court had “limited a justice scandal,” he said. He also thanked experts whose analyses of the evidence “brought the truth to light.”

Birkenstock said he was now preparing for the main trial, which begins on September 6 in Mannheim. Kachelmann is accused of threatening his long-term girlfriend with a knife and raping her. He denies the charges.

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Teenage footballer dies after brawl with French players in Germany

A 15-year-old footballer from Berlin died on Wednesday after he was seriously injured in a fight with players from a French team at an international youth tournament, police said.

Teenage footballer dies after brawl with French players in Germany

The teenager “died in hospital as a result of his severe brain injuries” after being hit on the head in the altercation in Frankfurt on Sunday, local police said in a statement.

A 16-year-old player from the French team was arrested following the fight and was still being held in custody, police said.

The brawl occurred following the final whistle in a game between the victim’s side JFC Berlin and a team from French second-division club Metz.

Investigators were still looking at the “detailed sequence of events” which led to the young player’s injuries, they said.

The victim was seemingly hit “on the head or neck” before he “fell to the floor and had to be resuscitated”, police said in a separate statement Tuesday.

The victim, already declared brain dead on Tuesday, was kept on life support so his organs could be donated, a spokeswoman for the Frankfurt prosecutor’s office said.

French club Metz said Tuesday it was “profoundly shocked” by the events at the tournament in Frankfurt.

Metz confirmed that a player from its “Performance Programme”, a scheme which gives “young footballers… from all over the world access to a high-level training structure”, was being held by German authorities.

The suspected attacker “denies having deliberately caused serious bodily harm”, the club said.

The tournament organisers also said Tuesday they were shocked by the events, describing them as “unbelievably sad”.