Catching up on another case:
Meanwhile in Dresden, trial against 23-year-old Syrian Alaa S. has started on charges of having killed 35-year-old Cuban-German Daniel Hillig together with Iraqi Farhad A. (who remains at large and wanted on an international warrant) in Chemnitz last August, triggering the subsequent protests, right-wing riots and outright federal government crisis over treatment of the latter. Another Iraqi suspect was released after several weeks of remand and has since filed charges of illegal incarcaration against the responsible prosecutor and judge. A prison guard who photographed the arrest warrant against him and put it online was also put on administrative leave.
The defense of Alaa S., including a public defender who replaced a previous one fired by S. shortly before the trial, is contesting the charges, noting contradictions like that at one point the prosecution claims that both suspects stabbed the victim with two knives simultaneously, and at another that only one knife was used. Only one was found with the victim's blood on it at any rate, and no DNA evidence against S. exists. The chief witness also changed his initial statement in favor of S. on major points, and a witness also failed to identify him in court today.
In a rather overt political move, the defense additionally demanded to disclose whether any of the professional and lay judges on the court are members or supporters of the right-wings AfD, have participated in protests of the PEGIDA movement or other anti-immigration groups, on the ground of possible bias in judgement. The court has deferred the motion for later consideration for now.
S. was found guilty and sentenced to nine years six months for manslaughter and aggravated battery on Thursday. Public prosecutors had argued for ten, accessory prosecution for eleven years. The defense had pleaded for acquittal, noting there was no material evidence linking S. to the stabbing of Daniel Hillig - no DNA on the murder weapon, no bruises from a fight - and that the only witness claiming to have seen him make stabbing motions in the incident changed his statements several times. However, the court stated that those changes had been due to threats from the defendant's circle, and the testimony fit well with that of several witnesses from before and after the incident.
The defense has called the verdict a miscarriage of justice, alleging that the court acted under the pressure of public opinion and politics - the mayor of Chemnitz had stated that an acquittal would be "difficult" for her city, and the defense had unsuccessfully requested to hold the trial out of the State of Saxony - and that the prosecution was trying to make S. a scapegoat to cover up their own incompetence; they initially arrested an innocent who had to be let go after four months in remand, and let the Iraqi whose DNA actually was found on the knife slip away, still wanted on an international warrant. The case is certain to be appealed.
Meanwhile some more overall statistics: In 2018, 25.5 percent of Germany's population living in private households (this excludes people in refugee and other public shelters, barracked allied troops etc.) had an immigration background, i. e. at least one parent was born without German citizenship. This breaks down into 13.3 percent who are themselves German citizens (7.1 born in Germany, 6.2 not), and 12.2 who aren't (1.9 born in Germany, 10.3 not).