The mayor of Graz has expressed concern the man who killed three, including a four-year-old-child, by driving his car up and down the pavements of the city centre at speeds of up to 90 miles an hour may soon walk free because it has been ruled he was suffering from mental illness.
The Bosnian born killer, who followed several Islamic Facebook pages and hundreds of Saudi Arabian Twitter accounts rammed his car into dozens of pedestrians in June 2015, and once his car was too damaged to drive got out and started attacking people with a machete. Today Austrian newspaper Kronen Zeitung reports not only that he was a devout Muslim who went to Mosque six times a week — not a Catholic with mental illness issues as had been claimed — but he could soon be released.
Earlier this week, Alen Rizvanović was judged to be not criminally liable for his actions because he was mentally ill at the time of the attacks by a group of court psychiatrists. On Wednesday, a detention hearing ordered Mr. Rizvanović be released from prison and transferred to a psychiatric hospital, meaning as soon as he is judged well again he would walk free, pending result of a trial to be held later this year.
The psychiatrists concluded that Mr. Rizvanović had “carried out the act under the influence of a mental and spiritual abnormality of a high degree”. He will not be charged with murdering three and injuring 34 following their decision.
The mayor of Graz, Siegfried Nagl has criticised this decision in the strongest possible terms and has called on behalf of Graz citizens for the man to be locked up for life. Expressing his fear, Mr. Nagl said: “after a year this man is back among us”.
He added that “thousands of people, a large majority of Graz residents wish this man remains a lifetime behind bars”. Mr. Nagl said because so many people will killed and injured in the attack: “I hope that the court and the prosecutor’s office ensure that he remains in custody for life”.
Although the attack had the hallmarks of a low-sophistication Islamist terror attack, police were extremely quick last year to rule out any possible religious motive for the attack, and the media reported he had been driven to violence by estrangement from wife and child.
In reality, Mr. Rizvanović’s wife had escaped him after years of abuse as he kicked and beat her, even during her pregnancy. She said he treated her like a “slave”, forced her to wear a head covering and forbade her from showing her legs in public.
Breitbart London reported last year on the similarities between the Graz attack and others where radicalised Muslims had used cars as weapons. Before the attacks, a propagandist for the Islamic State called on Muslims living in Western nations to commit jihad using “a bomb, bullet, knife, car, rock or even a kick or a punch”.
In the killing of British soldier Drummer Lee Rigby, two Islamists ran the man down with a car before disembarking and setting upon him with knives. In France in 2014 a man repeatedly drove his car into groups of people on the pavement while screaming “Allahu Akbar”.
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