Alleged boat ‘killer’ declines to testify

Alleged boat ‘killer’ declines to testify
Saint Peter's Island on Lake Biel, near where the alleged incident occurred. Photo: Roland Zumbühl/Picswiss
A 77-year-old man accused of killing a woman by negligence while operating a motorboat on Lake Biel in the canton of Bern more than three years ago declined to testify before a regional court hearing the case on Monday.

A 24-year-old woman from the canton of Aargau, identified as Angela, died after the inflatable canoe she and her fiancee were sitting in was run over by the senior’s boat on the afternoon of July 11th 2010.

The couple jumped in the water but the propeller of the boat injured the woman’s legs so badly that she bled to death, according to media reports of the incident.

Before Judge Elizabeth Ochsner, the accused neither wanted to comment on his personal situation nor on what happened on the day in question, the ATS news agency reported.

His lawyer earlier attempted to adjourn the case, arguing that the prosecutor’s file against his client was imprecise but the judge overruled the bid.

The retired man denies the manslaughter charge against him.

According to the facts reported by police, the boat sped off without stopping after running into the canoe.

The victim died three weeks before she was set to marry her boyfriend in a case that has drawn national media attention.

During the investigation, the operator of the motor boat and his two passengers declared that they were unaware of anything abnormal on the day of the accident, ATS reported.

The prosecution maintains the boat driver failed to notice the couple, who waved their arms to get his attention before the collision, because of his “inattention” and bad eyesight.

Bern cantonal police launched a special investigation to track down the alleged perpetrator.

The judge is expected to rule in the case on Wednesday. 

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