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German diplomat charged with murdering Belgian husband in Brazil

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By Euronews
The entrance of a German Embassy is displayed.
The entrance of a German Embassy is displayed.   -   Copyright  AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici, File

Brazilian state prosecutors have charged a German diplomat on suspicion of murdering his husband earlier this month.

Uwe Herbert Hahn -- who worked at the German consulate in Rio de Janeiro -- was initially arrested after his 52-year-old Belgian husband was found dead on 5 August.

He was released from police custody by a state court on Friday, just days before prosecutors filed charges for "aggravated murder".

Authorities say they are investigating reports that the consul fled the country and returned to Germany on a flight on Sunday. 

Brazil's judiciary has now called for Hahn to be added to Interpol's list of fugitives.

According to prosecutors, the murder was "committed with cruel means" and Hahn's husband was "severely beaten, causing intense and unnecessary suffering".

The victim was unable to react due to a mixture of alcohol and anxiety medication, they added.

Hahn "nurtured an abject feeling of possession for the victim," prosecutors say, claiming that the diplomat "subjugated his husband financially and psychologically" during their 23 years of marriage.

"He did not accept that the victim tried to establish some level of independence ... either economically or by establishing friendly relations with other people."

Hahn said his husband fell at their apartment in the wealthy Ipanema neighbourhood after suffering a sudden illness.

But police say the man's body had suffered multiple wounds in a "violent death" and found bloodstains in the couple's apartment.

"Our Embassy in Brasilia and the Consulate General in Rio de Janeiro are in close contact with the Brazilian authorities," a spokesperson for the German Federal Foreign Office told Euronews.

"We have also learned that the Brazilian court ordered the release of the person in question from pre-trial detention. The court did not impose any conditions on the release from pre-trial detention."

"For reasons of personal privacy, we cannot provide any further information," they added.

Additional sources • AFP, Reuters