Deadly knife attack: The verdict that should bring peace to Chemnitz
No DNA traces, but a witness that contradicts itself: In Chemnitz, the refugee Alaa S. is still convicted. About a hot summer night and its consequences
On Tuesday, Alaa S. could not keep his silence. For more than five months and 18 days in court, the Syrian refugee had not said a word in court. Had quietly and stubbornly watched as witnesses contradicted each other or could not remember anything about how he was charged or relieved. Had witnessed how most applications of his lawyers were rejected by the 1st Large Criminal Court of the district court of Chemnitz. Had the prosecutor heard in his plea, as he recounted in the chest tone of conviction that the evidence showed that he, Alaa S., together with the still volatile Farhad A. in the night of 26 August 2018 on the edge of Chemnitz City Festival five times stabbed the carpenter Daniel H. and killed him so.
So now, on Tuesday, two days before the verdict, Alaa S. spoke suddenly. But not in the courtroom, but on the phone. With a reporter from the ZDF magazine Frontal 21. And he said: "I swear to my mother, I did not touch him, I did not touch the knife at all." He sounded desperate. After a year in custody, he continued, he could no longer believe in a fair verdict: "I am even afraid of the court."
The court sees "any doubt" dispelled
This court, which met for security reasons in a high-security hall in Dresden, has the 24-year-old asylum seeker and trained barber Alaa S. at noon because of the jointly committed manslaughter of Daniel H. as well as dangerous injury to another victim to a prison sentence of nine years and sentenced to six months. The Chamber "is unaffected by the political and media influences of the case to the conviction that the defendant killed together with the volatile Iraqi Farhad A. Daniel H. by stabbing in the upper abdomen," said the chairman Simone Herberger. The evidence has "dispelled any doubts".
Thus, the probably most sensational criminal proceedings of the year comes to a close with a controversial verdict. And with it the hope that the accused had expressed in his last word in court: "I hope," he had said, "not to have to be the second victim of the real perpetrator." The first is Daniel H., the second is me, if I'm punished for the offender. " His defense lawyers have already appealed against the verdict. Lawyer Ricarda Lang said right after the trial ended: "The verdict was already fixed on the first day." The court was not unaffected by the political conditions in Chemnitz right.
There are no DNA traces
The verdict indeed raises many questions. First, the Court's absolute conviction that Alaa S. is guilty is puzzling. After all, there is - and the court acknowledged that - to this day not a single piece of evidence for his involvement. No traces of DNA on the murder weapon, no traces of the victim's blood on his clothing or that of the victim, no combat or defense injuries, no fiber marks, nothing.
Second, it is puzzling that the court, according to Alaa S.'s statement in the media did not directly re-enter the evidence. With the first-time statements since the beginning of the trial, it would certainly be possible to generate new evidence here. But that was apparently as unimportant to the Chamber as the closing lectures of the defense. In any case, it is difficult to explain why the plea of the defense had to be held just three hours before the verdict. The impression of a careful consideration of the arguments, the impression that they could change anything in the conviction of the Chamber, is in any case not obscure.
The TIME had Alaa S. ' Lawyer Ricarda Lang said on the eve of the verdict: "If this court condemns my client, then great injustice will happen." Almost simultaneously, she repeated this in her plea. And added: "A defendant does not have to prove his innocence, but he is beyond any doubt to prove his guilt." But that did not happen here in the approach. This is the third surprising point.