July 10 (UPI) — A 22-year-old Iraqi man living in Germany was sentenced to life in prison Wednesday for raping and killing a 14-year-old Jewish girl.
In May 2018, Ali Bashar met the girl, Susanna Feldmann in the woods near Wiesbaden, Germany, and the two had an argument. The two met through Bashar’s younger brother. Bashar was reportedly intoxicated at the time and he raped and beat her before murdering her.
Bashar claims the sex was consensual and that he attacked her when she threatened to call police. After he killed Feldmann, he took her phone and sent messages to the victim’s mother saying she had fled the country. Bashar and his family did leave the country, heading back to his native Iraq. But he was later extradited back to Germany for trial.
Feldmann’s remains were found two weeks after her May 23 disappearance buried in a shallow grave near railroad tracks.
Bashar moved to Germany with his parents and five siblings in 2015 and applied for asylum. He was denied but he remained in Germany while waiting for the appeal request.
He has a criminal history that includes charges of raping an 11-year-old girl that he will face separately.
He could be eligible for parole in 15 years.
The case has sparked debate in Germany about Chancellor Angela Merkel’s open-door immigration policies, considering the perpetrator had been denied asylum but was still in the country.
The girl’s mother Diana Feldmann wrote a letter in a German newspaper saying the blood of her daughter was on Merkel’s hands.
“That which was done to my daughter and to us is irreparable,” Feldmann said. “Part of my future and my heart went with Susanna.”
Police said there was no evidence this was a hate crime or that her Jewish faith played a part in it. The Central Council of Jews in Germany backed up that statement.