Poland philharmonic employee charged in killings

Associated Press

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — An employee of a philharmonic in western Poland was charged with murder in the double homicide of a young female harpist and a security guard inside the orchestra's building, prosecutors said Monday.

The two victims were found dead Friday morning in the building of the Lower Silesia Philharmonic in Jelenia Gora. The 60-year-old guard was found on the ground floor near the entrance and the harpist, 27, was found on the first floor.

A 29-year-old suspect, identified only as Michal M., has been questioned and charged with murder, prosecutors' spokeswoman Violetta Niziolek said. He has been put under arrest for three months, pending further investigation. Niziolek said he partly confessed to the charges concerning the death of the guard, but was saying he did not remember anything concerning the harpist.

An autopsy showed the harpist was strangled and the guard died of head wounds. Niziolek refused to provide any other details.

The head of the philharmonic, Zuzanna Dziedzic, told TVN24 the suspect was a stagehand there and a "nice, polite man" who readily carried out his duties. He helped arrange the stage and was on good terms with the entire team.

"He was a normal man," Dziedzic said. "Nothing suggested that something like this could happen."

She said that on Thursday evening there was a concert and the hall was full. Everybody had left by 10 p.m. except the guard.

"I left toward the end of the concert, saying 'goodnight' to Pawel," the guard, she said. "That was all."

Dziedzic said she had never met the harpist, who arrived on Wednesday and took part in two rehearsals for a concert planned Friday.

"I have no hypotheses, I still can't believe this happened," she said.

The philharmonic orchestra will play Mozart's Requiem for the victims on March 22.

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