In 2016, the events that followed the Munich shooting spiraled in several different directions. As soon as authorities announced that the 9mm Glock 17 and ammunition came from a darknet vendor, Germany’s darknet scene changed dramatically. Arrests started picking up. Police raided both suppliers and buyers on a constant basis. Then news spread regarding the 31-year-old darknet firearm vendor—the one who sold the Glock to David Ali Sonboly. He began fully cooperating with police and contributed to many of the recent arrests.
Not but a few short weeks after that news broke, the darknet vendor made the news again. The headlines, this time, changed perspectives completely. Previously, The Federal Public Prosecutor’s Office of Frankfurt all but congratulated the vendor for his contribution to law enforcement’s newfound ability to make DNM arrests. He gave the authorities access to his PGP keys in part of an anti-weapons operation. Consequently, those keys unlocked messages that incriminated him to a new extent.
According to Georg Ungefuk from the Federal Public Prosecutor’s Office of Frankfurt:
“The arrest warrant was initially issued only because of the violation of the arms laws. 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 no evidence that the 31-year-old Marburger knew what the amok gunman had in mind.”
The Federal Public Prosecutor’s Office of Frankfurt re-opened the case against the vendor after finding previously hidden messages—messages between David Ali Sonboly and the seller, Philipp K. The current arrest warrant for the vendor applied only to his violation of weapon laws in Germany. While the gun laws in Germany are notoriously strict, the messages revealed the vendor potentially violated the law to a much greater degree than initially believed.
The vendor then faced new charges pertaining to the nine deaths in Munich. Nine counts of negligent homicide and four counts of negligent bodily injury. Even though the investigation “restarted,” investigators believed the newly-uncovered messages showed a new side of the vendor. The messages proved that Philipp K. knew exactly what David Ali Sonboly planned to do. The 31-year-old returned to a jail cell, awaiting a new hearing in Frankfurt.
However, a new trial in Frankfurt never took place. Instead, as of early January, The Federal Public Prosecutor’s Office of Frankfurt handed the case over to the Bavarian State Capital. The investigation will proceed from there, along with the remainder of the court appearances.