14 Jul 2016

Neo-Nazi gets 11 years for murder of Freshfields junior lawyer

Oxford-educated lawyer Luke Holland was shot and killed as he left a Berlin nightclub last September.

Mr Holland had spent five years working as a lawyer for City outfit Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer before relocating to Berlin at the beginning of last year to launch a mobile phone music company. A 62-year-old man, who has been named ‘Rolf Z’ in the German media for legal reasons, gunned down the 31-year-old Mr Holland as he left a Berlin nightclub with a friend in September last year. Mr Holland later died on his way to hospital.

Diminished responsibility 

Following his arrest,‘Rolf Z’ was found to be in possession of illegal Nazi memorabilia, and had reportedly been involved in a heated argument with ‘foreigners’ at a nearby bar several weeks before Mr Holland’s murder. The family of the slain lawyer had hoped for a sentence of life imprisonment with a minimum of 15 years after ‘Rolf Z’ was found guilty of the killing. However, a German court has ruled that the man should serve just 11 years 8 months due to diminished criminal responsibility because he was drunk at the time of the attack. The German public prosecutor also claimed that Mr Holland had not suffered during the attack and that it could not be proved that the murder was a hate crime. 

Sources: Evening Standard; Legal Cheek