Berlin Pirate politician Claus-Brunner in 'murder-suicide'

File photo of Gerwald Claus-Brunner, 22 November 2011 Image copyright EPA
Image caption Gerwald Claus-Brunner's party lost all of its 15 seats in Berlin's state parliament at the weekend

A German politician has been found dead in his Berlin flat along with the body of another man, in what police believe was a murder-suicide.

Post mortem examinations indicate that Gerwald Claus-Brunner, 44, a member of the Pirate Party, killed himself.

The second, younger, man, was killed a few days earlier with a blunt instrument. Prosecutors rejected rumours he had been sexually abused.

The party said Mr Claus-Brunner had an incurable illness, but gave no details.

In a statement (in German) the Pirate Party did not mention the second man who died, but said Mr Claus-Brunner would be missed.

It is unclear whether the pair died before or after Sunday's regional election, in which the party lost all 15 of its seats in the Berlin state parliament. The Pirates' share of the vote plummeted from 8.9% to 1.7%.

Image copyright AP
Image caption Election posters still showed the Pirate Party politician in Berlin on Tuesday

After the party alerted police to a "farewell letter" sent to their offices, firefighters broke down the door of the politician's apartment in Steglitz in south-west Berlin on Monday. They found both bodies there.

The second man's identity has not yet been made public but there are reports that he was in his late 20s. Berliner Zeitung (in German) reported that he may have worked for Mr Claus-Brunner in the past and the authorities said there was evidence that the Pirate politician had been stalking him.

He lived in Wedding, 12km (7.5 miles) away and reports suggested that he may have died there before his remains were transported across town to Mr Claus-Brunner's home.

Mr Claus-Brunner tweeted for the last time on Friday, saying he had had a "really crap day" and hoped the weekend would be better.

Image copyright @RealDeuterium

In June, he addressed the state parliament with the warning that they would soon have to light a candle in his memory.

It is not clear whether he was speaking about his illness, his possible plans for suicide or his party's terrible showing in pre-election polls.

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