Suspect in killing of Jewish teen Susanna Feldman brought back to Germany
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Suspect in killing of Jewish teen Susanna Feldman brought back to Germany

Iraqi Ali Bashar allegedly confessed, saying he argued with victim, 14, then attacked and murdered her; expected to 'rapidly' stand trial

Police officers of a special unit escort Iraqi asylum seeker Ali Bashar, who is suspected of having killed a German teenage girl, from a helicopter to the police headquarters in Wiesbaden, western Germany, after he was flown back from Erbil to Germany on June 9, 2018. His face was blurred under German law( AFP PHOTO / dpa / Boris Roessler)
Police officers of a special unit escort Iraqi asylum seeker Ali Bashar, who is suspected of having killed a German teenage girl, from a helicopter to the police headquarters in Wiesbaden, western Germany, after he was flown back from Erbil to Germany on June 9, 2018. His face was blurred under German law( AFP PHOTO / dpa / Boris Roessler)

A former Iraqi asylum seeker arrived by plane back in Germany on Saturday after admitting raping and murdering a German Jewish teenage girl, German and Iraqi officials said.

“I am delighted the suspect sought by justice is back in Germany,” said Interior Minister Horst Seehofer in a statement, adding he hoped Ali Bashar, 20, would now “rapidly” face trial.

Bashar is alleged to have strangled 14-year-old Susanna Maria Feldman after raping her in the German city of Wiesbaden.

He was detained in northern Iraq on Friday following an outcry in Germany after police hunting the fugitive admitted he had fled with his family.

Despite the absence of a formal extradition treaty between Iraq and Germany, he was put on a Lufthansa flight to Germany from the Kurdish regional capital Erbil, German media reports said.

An autopsy showed Feldman was the victim of a sexual and violent attack, Reuters said, quoting police saying there was no evidence her religion had been a factor.

Susanna Feldman, 14, a German Jewish schoolgirl, whose body was found buried on the outskirts of the western German city of Wiesbaden on June 6, 2018 (via Facebook)

He was expected to face a remand hearing after landing in Frankfurt, the reports said.

The case has put renewed pressure on Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government over the decision to open Germany’s borders at the height of Europe’s refugee crisis in 2015, resulting in the arrival of more than a million asylum seekers.

This search photo provided by Wiesbaden, western Germany, police shows 20-year-old Iraqi Ali Basar who is suspected of raping and killing a 14-year-old girl. (Polizei Wiesbaden via AP)

Demonstrators held a minute’s silence in cities across Germany on Saturday, notably in the teenager’s hometown of Mainz.

On Friday, a senior official in the autonomous Kurdistan region had told AFP that authorities were working to transfer Bashar quickly back to Germany to face trial.

“During interrogation following his arrest, the young man originally from Kurdistan confessed to killing the German girl,” said Tariq Ahmad, police chief for the Dohuk province of Iraqi Kurdistan.

“He said that the two of them were friends but that they had a dispute, and that he killed her when the girl threatened to call the police,” Ahmad said.

Bashar arrived in Germany in 2015 along with his parents and five siblings.

He should have been deported after his request for asylum was rejected in December 2016, but he obtained a temporary residence permit pending his appeal.

During this time, he got into trouble with the police on several occasions, including for fights, alleged robbery and possession of an illegal switchblade.

He was also among the suspects for the sexual assault of an 11-year-old girl living in the same refugee shelter.

Seehofer said Bashar’s return was but “small consolation” for the victim’s parents who he said were in his thoughts.

Roses cover the photo of the 14-year-old Susanna Maria Feldman killed in Wiesbaden, Germany, Friday, June 8, 2018. A young Iraqi man suspected in the rape and murder of a 14-year-old schoolgirl in western Germany has been arrested in his homeland. (Boris Roessler/dpa via AP)

“For the state of our society it is important these crimes be cleared up and that the suspects be brought to justice,” he added.

TOI staff contributed to this report

 

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