Veitshochheim By force and out of hatred, a man is said to have stabbed defenseless innocent people in Würzburg. For relatives, the question remains as to why the possibly mentally ill man was allowed to walk freely …
It is said that he lost touch with reality years ago. Delusions, hallucinations, voices in the head.
Since Friday, the Würzburg regional court has been trying to find out why a man in Würzburg killed three women and injured nine people with a kitchen knife over 30 centimeters long last June.
The Munich Public Prosecutor’s Office accuses the accused, among other things, of murder in three cases, attempted murder in eleven cases and dangerous personal injury.
The first day of the trial is already clear: it will be a long and nerve-wracking trial, in which the declarations of the victims and witnesses are intended to corroborate the accusations of the Attorney General. As a result, the refugee acted out of hatred towards Germany, he felt he was being treated unfairly, but why?
Lawyer: no terrorist motive
During the attack he is said to have shouted “Allahu Akbar” (“God is great”) at least twice. Jihadists and Salafists often use the term as a rallying cry. In doing so, extremists are hijacking the central religious formula of Islam, which has been used by Muslims around the world for centuries. Investigators found no further evidence of extremism. “There have never been any terrorist motives,” assures the defendant’s lawyer, Hans-Jochen Schrepfer, on behalf of his client.
It is questionable whether the man has murder characteristics such as malice and low motives, such as revenge or anger. And it is unclear whether the relatives will receive an answer to their question as to why the man, who has been mentally disturbed for years, has not long been in a closed psychiatric ward.
At the beginning of the trial in an event hall in Veitshöchheim near Würzburg, Attorney General Judith Henkel describes the dramatic minutes of the crime day, June 25, 2021. It is hot, the university city on the Main is full of people. Shortly after 5pm, the suspect entered a department store on Barbarossaplatz. After less than five minutes, three people died: “The accused deliberately exploited the suspicion and helplessness of the victims and acted in a hostile direction towards the victim.”
Three women die
Neck, head, upper body: the Somali is said to have repeatedly rammed people he did not know with a knife with unimaginable force. Three women aged 24, 49 and 82 die. Four other women, an 11-year-old girl and a 16-year-old girl, survived with severe injuries. There are also three lightly injured. An attacked police officer remains unharmed.
“Most of the victims had no way of anticipating the attack by the accused, but they believed they were completely safe,” says Henkel. “Therefore, the natural readiness to defend and the ability to defend are completely lacking.”
In court, the suspect, who appears somewhat lost – is taking medication for his mental illness – initially doesn’t want to say anything about the assault. Defense attorney Schrepfer assures that his client has apologized for the act and feels sympathy. “He regrets the suffering he caused, especially to the victims and their families.” Inner voices would have prompted him to attack.
The alleged 33-year-old – neither the investigators nor the man himself know it precisely – would have arbitrarily chosen his victims “to kill as many people as possible according to his plan and to take revenge for the injustice done to him”, Henkel stresses. “He was vindictive despite the paranoid schizophrenia he had.”
Almost 30 days of negotiations
On the day of the crime, a young woman is in a department store in Würzburg looking for a dress for a wedding when the Somali arrives. According to her investigation, she asks for knives, takes one from the display and indiscriminately stabs the women around him. The 24-year-old follows what’s going on as if he’s paralyzed. When the assailant attacks her, she is “completely unable to move due to her state of shock,” explains Henkel. The young woman dies in the department store.
Almost 30 days of negotiations, 55 folders of investigative files: the jury could negotiate the security procedure by the end of September. The migrant, who was first registered in Germany in 2015 and has since been noticed several times due to psychological problems, will be hospitalized in a psychiatric ward at the will of the prosecutor – possibly for life. According to two experts, in fact, he was innocent and could be permanently dangerous for the general public.
Until the act, the man lived in a homeless shelter in Würzburg. His age is unclear. Like many migrants from civil war countries, he apparently arrived without a passport. He was born in 1989, says the accused in court. When the president asked him what day he was, he added with the help of a translator: “I think I remember my mother saying it was December.” So he would be 32.
© dpa-infocom, dpa: 220422-99-998081 / 7