In a combined operation with the Austrian and German police forces, Palma National Police said yesterday that two men had been arrested charged with two of the most brutal murders in the Balearics in recent years. The two men have been named as Peter D. 53, and Matthias S., 29. They are charged with the murder of German bar owner Illse Irene Michaelis who was strangled to death at her Palma home. Her body was found in the bath, with a pair of her trousers knotted around her throat. Michaelis also had various wounds to the head. Police suspect that the motive for the murder was robbery as the safe where she kept the bar takings had been opened and the money stolen. The second murder was two years later at the Hotel Marbel in Ca'n Pastilla. The night porter was found murdered after suffering various blows to the head using a plant holder. Murder squad detectives started their investigation at the bar owned by the first victim. It appeared that she knew her killers because she had invited them into her home. During the investigation into the second murder it was established that clothes covered in blood found in a rubbish container just 500 metres from the hotel belonged to the German bar owner. The motive in both murders appeared to be the same, robbery. The safe of the Hotel Marbel had been emptied. A search warrant was secured and in the room where the two men had been living at the hotel more clothes were found, which belonged to the bar owner. But by this stage the two men had fled the country. National police officers contacted Interpol and a description of the two men was sent to police stations in Austria and Germany. For the last two years the three police forces have been working closely together and this resulted in yesterday's arrest. Both men are considered to be highly dangerous. The long legal process was started yesterday to secure their extradition. This could take months. If there are complications with the extradition process they will be remanded in custody in a Palma prison until a trial date is set.

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