Suspect charged with killing that sparked Chemnitz far-right riots

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Suspect charged with killing that sparked Chemnitz far-right riots
The photo taken on September 3rd last year shows tributes to victim Daniel H. in Chemnitz. Photo: DPA

German prosecutors have laid manslaughter charges against a Syrian man over a knife killing four months ago that sparked far-right street protests and a political crisis.


Asylum seeker Alaa S. is accused -- together with now fugitive Iraqi Farhad  R.A -- of having killed 35-year-old Daniel H. on August 26th last year in Chemnitz in the country's former communist east.

The two suspects also allegedly stabbed a second man, Dimitri M., in the back, severely wounding him, in a late-night altercation on the outskirts of a town festival.

Public anger over the killing of German national Daniel H., who is of Cuban descent, sparked racist mob violence and ugly street protests in which neo-Nazis gave the illegal Hitler salute and clashed with anti-fascist protesters.

In a controversy that shook Chancellor Angela Merkel's coalition government, Germany's domestic intelligence chief later lost his job after questioning the administration's assessment that foreigners had been chased through the streets of Chemnitz.

The Syrian and Iraqi suspects were charged with manslaughter, attempted manslaughter and dangerous assault on Tuesday, and face a jail term of up to 15 years if found guilty.

Alaa S. has been in custody since August, while Farhad R. has been on the run since the end of August. Authorties have issued an international arrest warrant for, reported Spiegel Tuesday.

Authorities interviewed more than 100 witnesses in the case and followed multiple leads.

Prosecutors say that in a noisy argument between Farhad A. and Daniel H., the Iraqi was thrown to the ground and Alaa S. then rushed to his aid.

The Syrian and Iraqi men then allegedly pulled knives and stabbed the two other men, killing Daniel H. with wounds to the heart and lung.

A third initial suspect, another Iraqi asylum seeker arrested hours after the killing, was released in mid-September for lack of evidence against him.

Saxony state, where Chemnitz is located, is a stronghold of far-right parties and groups that bitterly oppose Merkel for her 2015 decision to keep German borders open to a mass influx of migrants and refugees.

SEE ALSO: Merkel defends refugee decision in protest-hit Chemnitz



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