A German court has instituted legal proceedings against an asylum seeker who cruelly crippled another refugee in a barbaric assault. The attack was allegedly provoked by a quarrel over a debt of €50 ($55).
A 20-year-old refugee who has lived in Germany since 2013 now faces charges of attempted murder and serious bodily harm over what is being described as a “barbaric” and “animalistic” attack that defies understanding.
The suspect allegedly attacked another refugee, 18, who was presumed to be his friend, in October 2016, German media report, citing the regional Prosecutor’s Office. He came to the victim’s apartment and stabbed him in the neck with two knives. As the victim fell unconscious, the assailant bit off both his ears and then cut off his eyelids with a knife.
However, he did not stop at that and then fiercely stabbed his victim in the eyes with a pen, almost poking the man’s eyes out.
An emergency paramedic, who examined the victim right after the attack, told the court on Monday that the victim’s eyelids were “torn to pieces.”
Eventually, a neighbor alarmed by the noises coming from the victim’s flat called the police and the officers arrested the perpetrator at the scene as he was “lying in a pool of blood,” the Hessian Broadcasting Corporation reported.
The victim survived the attack but was left blind and severely crippled. The incident took place in the town of Schluechtern, located in central Germany, not far from the city of Frankfurt.
Now, the German authorities are struggling to gain an insight into the motives of the attacker. The judge, Susanne Wetzel, denounced it as a “downright brutal and bizarre act.”
The public prosecutor’s office is investigating the theory that the attack was provoked by a quarrel over money that the victim owed to the assailant. However, many experts challenge this assumption.
“I have never heard about such a case. That is something really archaic,” Rudolf Egg, an expert in criminal psychology from the German city of Wiesbaden, told the German media. “The fact that the victim’s ears were bit off as if by a wild beast makes it look almost animalistic,” he added.
The expert assumed that the assailant could have been motivated by jealousy because he “wanted not only to harm his victim but also to disfigure him,” adding: “He wanted [his victim] to look ugly and shameful.”
In the meantime, the director of the German Federal Central Bureau for Criminology, Martin Rettenberger, said that the attack defies understanding. “There is no rational explanation for such a violent act,” he said, as cited by Die Welt daily.
He believes the assailant could be suffering from a severe mental disorder as the injured person could have fallen victim of “the violent fantasies of the perpetrator.”
The attacker was not under influence of alcohol or drugs, the German media report, citing the public prosecutor’s office. An expert in psychology, who was present at the court hearing, said that the suspect came through a “difficult period” while traveling to Europe as a refugee. He also revealed that the suspect complained about some “dark thoughts” and admitted that he drank alcohol and watched horror films “to relax.”
The victim also could not shed light on the chilling incident as he literally disappeared after he underwent a course of treatment in a clinic for sight-disabled people located not far from the city of Wuerzburg.
“I assume that he is in fear,” the victim’s lawyer, Gabriele Berg-Ritter told the court, adding that his whereabouts remain unknown.
According to the Bild daily, the attacker was identified as an Eritrean called Dawit W. and his victim was Mustafa H. from Somalia. Both men came to Germany in 2013. Dawit W. traveled to Germany through Italy and filed an asylum request a year after he arrived in the German town of Giessen.
The attacker had lived in Schluechtern since 2015 and was not previously known to police. Mustafa H. was officially granted asylum in Germany in 2013. He also moved to Schluechtern in mid-2015. The two men got acquainted as they both lived in a refugee center. According to the investigators, they were friends for about two and a half years. Both lived in rented apartments not far from each other.
The Hanau town court that took on this case is expected to make its judgment either in late May or in early June, according to German media. The attacker faces a possible life sentence.