Syrian Found Guilty of Murder that Sparked Riots in German City

Syrian defendant Alaa Sheikhi (C) is escorted into the courtroom for a hearing in his trial over a knife killing that sparked far-right street violence and protests in the eastern German city of Chemnitz on August 22, 2019 in Dresden, eastern Germany. - In the high-profile manslaughter case, in which …

Syrian asylum seeker Alaa Sheikhi has been found guilty of the murder of Chemnitz resident Daniel Hillig, whose killing sparked large-scale riots last year.

The Syrian was sentenced to nine and a half years in prison for stabbing the 35-year-old German to death on the outskirts of the Chemnitz City Festival in the centre of the city in August of 2018, German tabloid Bild reports.

The 24-year-old Syrian is also believed to have been aided in the murder by an Iraqi migrant named Farhad A., who has also been charged with manslaughter and serious bodily harm but so far has not been arrested, despite an international search warrant ordered for his capture.

The prosecution demanded a total of eleven years in prison, stating that the murder had seen a “high degree of brutality,” and that Mr Hillig had no opportunity to either escape or defend himself.

The lawyers for the Syrian migrant attempted to plead for an acquittal in the case, arguing that the court should not be influenced by the political climate or what they referred to as a “marauding mob.”

Sheikhi gave his own statement before the court prior to the verdict professing his innocence and stating, “I hope I will not be the second victim of the actual perpetrator.”

His defence immediately appealed the verdict, claiming a lack of evidence and conflicting testimony.

The murder of Mr Hillig brought the city of Chemnitz into international headlines following the riots that took place after football hooligans organized around 1,000 people into the streets.

A peaceful vigil, organised by the populist Alternative for Germany (AfD) also took place following the murder and members of the party later took part in a “mourning march” in early September to remember all of those killed by migrants.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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