STAFF REPORTER ON the third day after 72-year-old German businessman Dieter Frerichs allegedly killed himself with a hand gun after fleeing from police arrest, Guardia Civil divers yesterday brought up the weapon from waters near the victim's Calanova home.

Frerichs, accused of a multi-million euro fraud in Germany, had been paid a call by the National Police Fraud Squad on Saturday morning. Avoiding arrest, Frerichs raced to the rocks outside his home, snatching the gun en route. He then leapt into the water, fired the weapon into the air and then turned the gun on himself and fired a bullet into his head.

Police retrieved Frerichs from the water but he died a few hours later at Son Dureta hospital in Palma. His distraught stepdaughter, ex model Fiona Ferrer, accused the police of killing Frerichs.

The low-calibre firearm was finally located at a depth of seven metres, some 20 metres from where officers had originally calculated it would have fallen.

Sources close to the investigation said that when divers failed to find the hand gun close to the steps that ran down to the sea from the rocks, the Guardia Civil had decided to work on the theory than Frerichs had swum out some way from the rocks before firing the hand gun.

With the aid of metal detectors, the divers started searching in an area shrouded in seaweed. They were then able to locate the gun, of a well-known manufacturer, within a matter of moments. There were apparently another 8 rounds left to fire. Police are now looking into how Frerichs would have obtained the weapon and are closing the death as a case of suicide.