Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 19 September 2019

Syrian asylum seeker convicted over Chemnitz killing that sparked far-right riots

Alaa S was sentenced to nine years and six months imprisonment by a German court

Alaa S at a court in Dresden, Germany. Reuters
Alaa S at a court in Dresden, Germany. Reuters

A Syrian asylum seeker has been sentenced to nine and a half years in prison over a fatal stabbing in the eastern German city of Chemnitz, which sparked anti-immigrant riots.

Alaa S, 24, was convicted of manslaughter and dangerous bodily harm by a court in Dresden, around 80 kilometres from Chemnitz, where Daniel Hillig was killed last August.

Defence lawyers for the defendant, whose surname was not released, had called for their client to be acquitted, citing lack of evidence.

An international arrest warrant was sought for a second suspect, an Iraqi.

The trial was held in Dresden, the capital of Saxony, for security reasons.

Around 800 far-right supporters marched through the streets of Chemnitz last year after learning about the killing of 35-year-old German Mr Hillig on social media within hours of his death.

Footage on social media showed a mob, made up of neo-Nazis, football hooligans and extremist martial arts fans, attacking immigrants or people of foreign appearance.

Further demonstrations, which saw up to 2,500 people march in Saxony, reignited the debate in Germany about Angela Merkel’s decision to open the borders to one million asylum seekers in 2015.

Updated: August 22, 2019 07:29 PM

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