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CRIME

Man jailed for 11 years for rape of two Chinese students

A 32-year-old Iraqi refugee was found guilty on Tuesday of the rape of two Chinese students at a university in western Germany. The initial arrest fired off a national debate about sexual violence by asylum seekers.

Man jailed for 11 years for rape of two Chinese students
The defendant in court in Bochum. Photo: DPA

Ziyad K. admitted to the charges late in the trial, after initially refusing to make a statement to the court.

The court found that he had almost strangled one of the women to death during an attack at the Ruhr University Bochum. When assaulting her in August, he wrapped a shoelace around her throat and threatened her with a stick so that she would not move.

The 22-year-old victim, who flew back from Beijing for the proceedings, told the court: “I thought I was going to die.”

Police arrested the man after a friend of one of the victims took a picture of him lurking behind a bush in the same spot that he had attacked her.

Evidence gathered at the crime scenes linked his DNA to both victims, leading the court to the near certain conclusion that he was the attacker, Der Westen reports.

“Eleven years is a very hefty sentence. But it is the price for what you have done to these blameless victims,” said judge Volker Talarowski.

“We haven’t put refugees in general on trial. We have put on trial a man who was an asylum seeker, and we judged his guilt based on the evidence in this case, no more and no less.”

The 32-year-old defendant arrived in Germany in 2015 with his wife and two children after fleeing from Iraq.

The man was arrested in November shortly after a teenage asylum seeker from Afghanistan was arrested for the rape and murder of a young woman in Freiburg.

Critics of the government said that Chancellor Angela Merkel’s open-door refugee policy was to blame for the assaults. But Merkel rounded on critics, calling the attacks “terrible isolated incidents.”

“The fact that some people want to exploit them is something we have to withstand and defend ourselves against,” she said in December.

CRIME

Driver in Bavaria gets €5,000 fine for giving the finger to speed camera

A driver in Passau has been hit with a €5,000 fine because he was caught by traffic police giving the middle finger.

Driver in Bavaria gets €5,000 fine for giving the finger to speed camera

The district court of Passau sentenced the 53-year-old motorist to the fine after he was caught making the rude gesture in the direction of the speedometer last August on the A3 near the Donautal Ost service area, reported German media. 

The man was not caught speeding, however. According to traffic police who were in the speed camera vehicle at the time, another driver who had overtaken the 53-year-old was over the speed limit. 

When analysing the photo, the officers discovered the slower driver’s middle finger gesture and filed a criminal complaint.

The driver initially filed an objection against a penalty order, and the case dragged on for several months. However, he then accepted the complaint. He was sentenced to 50 ‘unit fines’ of €100 on two counts of insulting behaviour, amounting to €5,000.

READ ALSO: The German rules of the road that are hard to get your head around

In a letter to police, the man said he regretted the incident and apologised. 

Police said it was “not a petty offence”, and that the sentence could have been “even more drastic”.

People who give insults while driving can face a prison sentences of up to a year.

“Depending on the nature and manner of the incident or in the case of persons with a previous conviction, even a custodial sentence without parole may be considered for an insult,” police in Passau said. 

What does the law say?

Showing the middle finger to another road user in road traffic is an offence in Germany under Section 185 of the Criminal Code (StGB). It’s punishable by a prison sentence of up to one year or a fine.

People can file a complaint if someone shows them the middle finger in road traffic, but it usually only has a chance of success if witnesses can prove that it happened.

As well as the middle finger, it can also be an offence to verbally insult someone. 

READ ALSO: The German road signs that confuse foreigners

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