A Ghanaian asylum seeker accused of raping a woman in a nature reserve in Germany while forcing her boyfriend to watch has denied any involvement in the case.
On the first day of the trial in Bonn, the 32-year-old man said ‘I don’t understand why I should remain silent when I don’t know anything about the case’ after his lawyers advised him not to speak.
The man – whose identity cannot be revealed because of strict German privacy laws – allegedly spotted a young couple camping in the nature reserve where the River Sieg flows into the Rhine in western Germany.
An e-fit of the accused which was put out by the police. He was captured after a passer-by recognised him from the e-fit. Pictured right: The Siegaue Nature Reserve
He is said to have forced his way into the couple’s tent, threatened them with a tree saw and ordered them to hand over their valuables.
After robbing them he is said to have told the 23-year-old woman to come outside, where he raped her and forced her boyfriend to watch.
The suspect was arrested soon after in nearby Siegburg after a man recognised him from a composite picture of the sex attacker.
German media have reported that the boyfriend’s call to police was initially considered a joke.
According to Süddeutsche Zeitung, he explained that he was the son of a rich plantation owner in Ghana.
But it emerged earlier this year that the man had been served notice by the German authorities ten days before the attack informing him he would face deportation to Italy as his asylum application had been rejected.
He arrived in Italy in January and his asylum application was immediately rejected but by then he had made the journey to Kassel in Germany.
The refugee was arrested after being accused of dragging a young woman from her tent and raping her while she was on camping with her boyfriend at in the Siegaue Nature Reserve (pictured)
The suspect lived for a time in asylum seeker housing accommodation in the town of Sankt Augustin, near Bonn.
But local media have questioned why he was not immediately deported.
Vanessa Nolte, of the Cologne district authorities, said: ‘On 23 March he received the order, on 24th March he appealed it.’
Bonn police spokesman Robert Scholten said: ‘As well as from the rape, we found a lot of DNA samples at the crime scene, which are clearly from the arrested man.’
The trial is expected to last eight days.