An asylum-seeker, thought to be from Afghanistan, has been given an 8 1/2-year prison sentence for the murder of a teenage German girl. The case has fueled debate on asylum policy in Germany.
A court in the southwestern German city of Landau on Monday sentenced asylum-seeker Abdul D. to eight years and six months in prison for the murder of a teenage girl in the town of Kandel in December last year.
The murder had been seized upon by many opponents of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s refugee policy to support their anti-immigration stance. The case has received great media attention in Germany, and many reporters were present outside the court as the verdict was announced.
Abdul D.’s lawyer, Maximilian Ender, told reporters that he thought the court’s decision was correct and that his client had “accepted” the sentence.
After following the course of events surrounding the murder, Martin Müller, a 53-year-old from Offenbach, showed up outside of the court to protest the verdict.
He told DW that he “spontaneously” decided to come to the courthouse after hearing about the verdict on the radio.
“As a concerned citizen, you thought about what would be an appropriate sentence for this crime and these 8.5 years are clearly not enough,” he said.
Another passer-by, Christoph Hückstädt, 23, told DW outside the court in Landau that he was also disappointed with the sentence.
“I don’t think it’s right,” Hückstädt said. “He should have gotten 10 years. It was murder.”