Iraqi asylum seeker on trial in Germany for rape and murder of Jewish girl
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Iraqi asylum seeker on trial in Germany for rape and murder of Jewish girl

Ali Bashar, 22, denies raping Susanna Maria Feldman in woods in Wiesbaden after incident reportedly happened on 22 May last year

Lady Justice
Lady Justice

A failed Iraqi asylum-seeker has gone on trial in Germany for raping and murdering a 14-year old Jewish girl.

Ali Bashar, 22, denies raping Susanna Maria Feldman in woods in Wiesbaden on 22 May last year, but admits strangling her, saying: “Everything went black before my eyes. Then it all happened. I don’t know how it could have happened.”

Alarms were raised after Susanna failed to return home from a night out with friends. Her body was discovered in woodland on 6 June, buried beside a railway line.

By then Bashar had returned to Iraq, but was arrested by Kurdish elite forces in the city of Erbil and returned to Germany in June to face trial. He also faces a separate trial for the alleged rape of an 11-year old girl next week.

Susanna’s mother Diana was in court this week to hear how Bashar had befriended her daughter three months earlier. He denies knowing her age and told the court that he was a drug-user, having first started drinking alcohol aged 12.

The woodland is near an asylum-centre where Bashar and his family had been staying, and Susanna’s body was found after a tip-off from a fellow asylum-seeker.

The murder triggered frenzied political debate about immigration in Germany. Far-right groups seized on it, initially suggesting that the murder was antisemitic in motive.

However police said there was no suggestion of this and Josef Schuster, president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, was quick to caution that “a girl of any religious background could have become a victim as well,” adding that far-right activists “use victims as a means to an end… that’s simply disgraceful”.

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