An asylum seeker accused of raping and murdering an EU official’s daughter attacked her to satisfy his ‘sexual urges’ before leaving her unconscious in a river to drown, a court heard.
Hussein Khavari, 22, who claims to be from Afghanistan has been accused of ambushing Maria Ladenburger, 19, as she cycled home after a party, raping her and then drowning her in Freiburg, Germany last October.
He was linked through his DNA to medical student Maria, who volunteered at various shelters that house migrants in her spare time in Freiburg.
Pictures emerged this morning of Khavari shackled in chains arriving at a district court in the university city for the high profile case, that has shocked the country and reignited tensions over its liberal asylum policy.
Hussein Khavari (left), 22, has been charged with raping and murdering Maria Ladenburger (right), 19, in Germany
Khavari’s trial has started in Freiburg today, where he was seen in handcuffs being led in to court (pictured)
Police stand in front of the court in Freiburg ahead of a case that fueled a nationwide debate about the country’s migration policy
Prosecutors accuse him of ‘maliciously’ attacking the young woman ‘to satisfy his sexual urges’ before leaving the unconscious victim to drown.
The defendant surprised the Freiburg court today by stating that he wanted to speak at his trial, which opened with people queuing to enter the courtroom.
‘I want to testify,’ he told the judges, reversing an earlier stance to stay silent.
Sixteen days of hearings have been scheduled for the trial, with a verdict expected in December at the earliest.
Chief prosecutor Ekkart Berger said at the start of the trial of Hussein Khabarovsk: ‘What exactly happened that night, the investigators were able to reconstruct in detail. We assume that he had a killing intention from the beginning.
‘At about 3am or a few minutes earlier, the defendant Hussein attacked Maria. He grabbed the handlebars of the bicycle and brought her to a halt.’
The defendant Hussein Khavari is brought back into the court room wearing shackles after a break during his trial in Freiburg
Pictures emerged this morning of a handcuffed Khavari arriving at a district court in the university city amid high security outside
Hussein claims to be Afghani but the court heard that there is evidence he is Iraqi. And his claim to be 17 at the time of the offence is disputed with a specialist saying he is at least 22.
According to Bild newspaper, during a morning session of hearings in which press and public were excluded he claimed to be 19.
He said he claimed to be 16 upon his arrival in Germany in 2015 ‘because the situation is better here for under age migrants.’ The court must decide if he is to be tried as a juvenile or an adult.
A murder conviction as a juvenile would mean a maximum ten year jail term, as an adult a possible life sentence.
Maria’s father is a senior legal adviser to the European Commission in Brussels.
The killing sparked frenzied new waves of hatred and fear of refugees. The boss of the country’s police union said her death would have been prevented had the open door asylum-seeker policy of Chancellor Angela Merkel been less lax.
The anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany (AfD) party was to piggyback on the killer’s arrest to highlight what it says are the dangers of unregulated immigration. It calls Maria a ‘victim of Merkel’s welcome culture.’
Maria’s body was found in the Dreisam River less than one mile from the student accommodation where she lived.
He was linked through his DNA to medical student Maria (pictured), who volunteered at various shelters that house migrants in her spare time in the university city of Freiburg
Khavari claimed to have been born in Afghanistan and came to Germany as an illegal unaccompanied minor in November 2015.
In numerous social media posts he liked to present himself with hair slicked back with gel, jogging pants and training shoes.
On Facebook, before the killing of Maria on October 16, he wore his hair long but it was cut back after the crime.
A single strand of it was found at the crime scene but he left other traces of his DNA behind too.
Another disturbing photo he posted on his Facebook page shows a wolfman clutching a young maiden in his arms.
He said he was 17 at the time but he is thought to be 22. He has not spoken to police since his arrest.
After his arrest it emerged that he was let out of jail early in Greece where he was sentenced to ten years for trying to kill a young woman.
Stern magazine reported that Khavari had thrown a 20-year-old student off a cliff on Corfu, Greece, in May 2013.
The woman was severely injured but ‘miraculously’ survived and was able to identify her attacker.
Khavari told his lawyer that he ‘regretted’ what had happened.