The case of the darknet gun vendor who sold a Glock 17 to the Munich gunman simply refuses to die. In a series of events that came, initially as a surprise, the government has decided to pursue an even lengthier prison sentence for Philipp K., the gun vendor who admitted his role in providing David Sonboly the Glock that ended the life of several people at the Olympia shopping mall in 2016. In the beginning, Philipp faced only weapons charges. He confessed. News surrounding his arrest and case quieted down for months until authorities revealed that the vendor had been helping the police capture other weapon vendors (and their buyers).
He helped the authorities apprehend several buyers and at least four suspected gun vendors from the now-fallen Deutschland im DeepWeb. He gave German Federal Police the locations of his weapon caches. And he eventually allowed law enforcement to access his encrypted accounts, presumably including his password protected Deutschland im DeepWeb account. Shortly after he helped the police setup his account as a honeypot of sorts, they reopened his investigation. Philipp K. made the news again, this time for more than weapons charges.
A spokesperson from the Federal Public Prosecutor’s Office of Frankfurt said that “the arrest warrant was initially issued only because of the violation of the arms laws.” He explained that “the further investigation of the secured communication from the supposed arms dealer on the Darknet – the secret area of the Internet – however, showed indications of negligence. There was [initially] no evidence that the 31-year-old Marburger knew what the amok gunman had in mind.”
So the case reopened because information found on the vendor’s DiDW account made it apparent that the vendor had known David Sonboly intended to cause harm with the Glock. Investigators followed that path for a few months before more news broke, changing the direction of the case. Evidence had apparently emerged that suggested Philipp K. knew more than what he had let on to knowing. And more than negligent homicide. Investigators accused Philipp of knowing about the shooting and even discussing it with Sonboly and his family members before the events unfolded.
Apparently Philipp had messages that proved he felt the same way Sonboly felt about other races. Philipp’s family felt the same way. And during one hearing where his family testified that Philipp knew nothing more than he had already told the court, investigators found evidence that revealed his family had rehearsed their lines. Furthermore, one family member hated another family member and testified that she had overheard a discussion about the shooting before Sonboly even went to the Olympia shopping mall.
So authorities began further investigations under the assumption that Philipp and possibly members of his family had known about the attack and potentially helped Sonboly execute his plan. Months later, after that investigation went effectively nowhere, the prosecutor’s office is pushing for a seven year prison sentence for Philipp. The vendor—who had previously pleaded guilty to weapons trafficking charges—now faces nine counts of negligent homicide, five counts of negligent assault, and various illegal firearm trafficking charges. The trial is scheduled for late January.