The murder trial of a Syrian asylum seeker who hacked to death his pregnant Polish lover with a kebab knife last summer has begun in Germany.
The trial of Mohammed H. began this week in the Tübingen regional courts. According to the prosecution, Mohamed murdered 45-year-old Polish national Jolanta K. who is said to have been both his lover and fellow co-worker at a kebab shop in the Germany city of Reutlingen in July 2016.
Prosecutors have also stated he severely injured another person and assaulted two others as he tried to escape the scene. In addition to the murder charge, the prosecution will also be seeking attempted murder charges for two of the other victims. Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reports.
“He hit and hurt her with the kebab knife,” the prosecution said in its opening statements and noted that the victim, a mother of four who had come to Germany to find work to support her family, was pregnant at the time of the murder.
After killing the 45-year-old, Mohammed is said to have tried to flee the scene through the inner city and struck another man, who was smoking a hookah pipe outside a kebab shop, hitting him hard in the jaw. “If the blow had been lower, this shisha smoker would have died,” the prosecution said.
Another man was also attacked but managed to fend off Mohammed with a chair. The asylum seeker then assaulted a woman and vandalised a car until a man driving a BMW ran him over in an effort to prevent him injuring anyone else.
The accused has so far not denied he carried out the attacks and the murder but has not confessed to the crimes either.
The first day of the trial was largely concerned with establishing the age of Mohammed at the time of the attack. During police interrogation, Mohammed claimed to have been born in November 1995 but his Syrian identification documents state he was born in January. If he was between 18-20 years old in July 2016, the case could be sent to a juvenile offenders court where there is a maximum penalty of 10 years rather than life in prison in an adult court.
Migrants claiming to be underage to get better benefits or receive lighter criminal sentences has been a recurring issue in Germany. Neighbouring Austria has caught almost a thousand migrants who lied about their age. In Sweden, the government has considered costly medical tests to determine the ages of asylum seekers.
Despite the efforts of Mohammed’s defence team, the judge in the case ruled that the trial will be continued in an adult court.