A WOMAN whose son was killed by his drug-crazed Swiss aristocrat pal has told how bungling cops offered her the murder weapon.
Katja Faber, 58, lost her son Alex Morgan in December 2014 when he was bludgeoned to death by Bennet von Vertes in a plush Swiss ski chalet.
The toff horrifically shoved a heavy candlestick down the 23-year-old Brit's throat during a brutal attack in Kusnacht, Zurich.
High on a cocktail of sleeping tablets, cocaine and ketamine, the art dealer savagely bumped off his friend who he had met at Regent's University in London.
Alex's grief-stricken mum has faced a gruelling legal battle to get justice for her boy and keep his killer behind bars.
But as well as her harrowing struggle in Switzerland's courts, Katja has faced further heartbreak at the hands of bungling cops.
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Four years after the playboy son of a wealthy aristocrat choked Alex to death in a drug-addled rage, she received an email from the state prosecutor.
They asked her whether she would like her child's possessions returned – despite having already received them.
His bag, watch, passport and wallet had previously been bleakly delivered in plastic pouches with police numbers on them.
Confused Katja asked them to explain their query, before they sent over a list of the items.
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To her horror, the mum then realised they were referring to evidence from the 23-year-old's murder rather than his personal belongings.
The former criminal barrister told the Daily Mail: "I could not believe what I was reading.
"It listed all Alex’s clothes — jeans, shirt, underwear, and specified that they were all covered in blood. Then at the bottom it said 'a candle'.
"It specified how long the candle was. I had to look again. I sat there, looking at this list, thinking: 'Am I seeing things? Am I going mad?'"
The weighty block of wax had been pushed down the victim's throat by von Vertes as he mercilessly strangled his friend from university.
Alex, who went to Prince Charles' old boarding school Gordonstoun, was planning to meet his mum for an Alpine skiing holiday.
Bt the affluent murderer embarked on a deadly cocaine and ketamine binge after offering to put up his pal in his lakeside family chalet – where the likes of Tina Turner reside.
The original trial in Meilen heard how they spent the night out in the city and returned to the villa at about 4am.
Following a drug-fuelled game of chess, von Vertes flew into a psychotic rage – claiming he'd seen Alex as an alien with a green face, red eyes and long ears who he thought was trying to kill him.
The crazed rich boy stabbed his pal with shards of glass, hit him with a golden sculpture and bashed him with a 3ft candlestick before ramming it down his throat.
Alex's injuries were so horrific, the family had to have a closed coffin at his funeral – and the scene was described as looking like a "grotesque battlefield."
But it seems clumsy cops thought mum Katja may want the candlestick – which is what eventually killed him – as a memento of his murder.
The 58-year-old continued: "Yes, this was the candle I was being asked if I wanted.
"Apparently, because it was found in him, it was deemed to be one of Alex’s possessions.
"This is what you go through, you see, as the mother. This is the utter horror of it. And nothing can prepare you for it."
The inconsolable mum then explained how she had received "an itemised bill" from the company that retrieved her son's body from the chalet.
This is what you go through, you see, as the mother. This is the utter horror of it. And nothing can prepare you for it.
The heartless firm had even charged Alex's family for the plastic sheeting they had used to lay his body on.
Katja recalled: "I remember lying down on my bed and I just cried. I thought: 'I cannot do this'."
But she had no time to mourn her son – instead spending the next few years battling to ensure von Vertes' was put behind bars.
At the first trial in 2017, the affluent former Regent's Univerity student was locked up for 12 and a half years.
But despite the "orgy of violence" on the fateful evening, his legal team managed to win an appeal arguing he was not of sound mind in 2019.
The son of a Hungarian-German aristocrat's sentence was slashed to just three years – but he was released due to time served on the condition he entered a drug rehab unit.
Katja fumed: "The reduced charges were saying that it was unfortunate Alex had died, but it really wasn’t anyone’s fault.
MUM ON A MISSION
"It was ridiculous. Does this mean that anyone who is high on drugs, or alcohol, cannot be held accountable?"
The former barrister claims the facility resembled a "spa" and discovered her son's killer was attending weekly art history lectures in Bern.
Further anguish ensued when the von Vertes family offered her £39,000 to cover Alex's funeral costs and as "emotional compensation."
But instead of simply "going away" like she feels the posh brood wanted her to, the relentless mum relaunched her legal battle.
The prosecution won a counterappeal last week to ensure Bennet von Vertes original was reimposed when he was found guilty.
But the retrial, which she said pitched her against "extreme wealth and entitlement" has taken its toll on the mum-of-three.
She said: "They were talking about Alex as if he wasn’t a human being.
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‘The problem with the justice system — and I am not just talking about Switzerland — is that it is not there to bring justice to the victim. It is there to impose the law. There is a difference."
Katja says despite their differing financial means, the von Vortes family "underestimated the strength of a mother who has lost her son."
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