Berlin politician, younger man found dead in apartment

BERLIN (AP) — A well-known member of Berlin’s Pirate Party was found dead in his apartment after apparently taking his own life, along with the body of another man whom police said Tuesday was killed by blunt force trauma.

Berlin police said a “farewell letter” led them to the apartment in Berlin’s southwestern Steglitz neighborhood on Monday afternoon, when they found the two bodies.

Autopsies performed Tuesday suggest the apartment’s 44-year-old tenant killed himself while the signs of blunt force trauma to the upper body the second man exhibited indicate he was slain a few days before, police said.

The victim was a “younger man, whose identity has not yet been fully confirmed,” police said, adding that their homicide unit was investigating.

Police did not release names, but the Pirate Party, founded a decade ago with a focus on internet freedom, identified the 44-year-old as Gerwald Claus-Brunner, a party member who served in the Berlin state parliament.

The party said the popular politician, known for wearing a trademark bandanna and overalls, had been suffering from an “incurable illness.” It said nothing about the second person.

The bodies were found the day after the Pirate Party took only 1.7 percent of the votes in Berlin’s state election and was voted out of parliament.

Claus-Brunner likely died before the election, however, Berlin’s B.Z. newspaper said, citing law enforcement sources.

Germany’s Bild newspaper, also citing law enforcement sources, said the victim was approximately 29-years-old and might have been killed in another location and moved to the apartment.