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German court gives asylum seeker life for girl’s murder

Posted by: Semere Asmelash

Date: Thursday, 06 July 2023

German court gives asylum seeker life for girl’s murder

By AFP
04 July 2023  
Okba Michael B. is brought into the hearing room of the Ulm district court

Okba Michael B. is brought into the hearing room of the Ulm district court

Photo: Sascha Baumann/all4foto.de
A German court sentenced an asylum seeker Tuesday to life in prison for the fatal stabbing of a 14-year-old girl in a case that sparked nationwide shock and angry protests.

A spokeswoman for the tribunal in the southern city of Ulm told AFP the 27-year-old Eritrean had been convicted of murder, attempted murder and grievous bodily harm for the December 2022 attack.

Because the court found a “particular severity of guilt”, the defendant identified only as Okba B. is highly unlikely to be released on parole after 15 years, as is common in Germany.

The assailant, who had lived in Germany for seven years, knifed the 14-year-old victim Ece and a 13-year-old girl who happened to be walking together past his refugee shelter in the southern town of Illerkirchberg.

He killed Ece with 23 stab wounds and critically injured her younger friend with a knife that investigators said he intended to brandish at the local immigration office to demand travel documents so he could marry in Ethiopia.

The court concluded that he assaulted the girls at random after one saw the knife and he feared they would report him to police.

Okba B., who was reportedly employed and speaks good German, told the court that he was “shocked by the act” and regretted it.

He also expressed his condolences to the families of the victims and asked them for forgiveness.

The case triggered revulsion across Germany and local demonstrations.

However the families of the girls pleaded for the case not to be “politically exploited” by anti-immigration parties and asked the community to come together in mourning their children.

Man jailed for life in Germany for stabbing teenage girls - BBC





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