The witness does not have to look long in the direction of the man in the red T-shirt.

“Do you know him?” Asks the presiding judge.

“Yes.” “Who is that?” “Abu Muawia.” Even later, when the chairman asks again and asks her to take a closer look, she sticks: it is him.

Her daughter's murderer.

The man whom the witness thinks she recognizes as Abu Muawia is called Taha Al-J.

He is an Iraqi and accused by the federal prosecutor's office of having bought the witness and her five-year-old daughter at a slave market as an IS supporter in 2015.

Anna-Sophia Lang

Editor in the Rhein-Main-Zeitung.

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One day he is said to have chained the little Yazidi girl to a window in the scorching sun until she died of thirst.


is the husband of the German IS supporter Jennifer W., she has been tried for months at the Munich Higher Regional Court because of the same events.

The counterpart in Frankfurt is of particular importance: for the first time, a representative of the terrorist organization could be convicted in front of a constitutional court on behalf of the declared aim of IS to destroy the Yazidis.

The witness who appears in court for the first time on Friday is a key witness. 48 years old, a young voice, but a face and a hunched body that show what she had to endure. When she speaks of her daughter, she does not mention her Yazidi name. She calls her "Rania" - that's how the slave owners renamed the five-year-old because her real name is that of an unbeliever. It was imprinted in the mother's head. It is a small miracle that the investigators got their testimony. In 2018, an employee of the Yazda organization happened to hear that an indictment had been brought in Germany concerning the death of a girl in the sun. She noticed that a woman had recently told her exactly this story in Iraq.The organization's lawyers reported to the federal prosecutor's office.

No, my feet were in the air

For many days since then, the witness has talked about her time with IS and the death of her daughter. She has been questioned several times by investigators. In the trial against Jennifer W. she had to appear eleven times before all questions were answered. And now also Frankfurt. The court set three days for the questioning. There is no telling whether that will be enough. It is becoming apparent that the survey will be uncomfortable and complicated, as it was in Munich. As early as Friday, the judges asked for details that made the witness cry. How exactly did Abu Muawia tie the girl to the window? The mother does it with her hands up. Could she still stand herself? No, my feet were in the air. How long did she hang there? More than half an hour. The witness does not understand many questions straight away.With the help of the interpreter, the chairman feels his way forward. He has to know exactly, in the end it comes down to the details. For example, whether Abu Muawia really wanted to give the child water after he had unbound him; this is how the witness portrays it. Or whether the child was still alive, how stiff the body, how cramped the jaw was, what could be signs of her death.

The witness also says that Abu Muawia took the child to the hospital and then disappeared.

IS police came days later and told her the child was dead. Abu Muawia was being punished for it.

The defendant says nothing about any of this.

But his appearance signaled from the first day of the trial that he insisted on his innocence.

He also takes notes on Friday and discusses with his lawyers during breaks in negotiations.

When the witness states that she recognizes him, he reacts in dismay.