The 34-year-old Ibrahim A. has to answer for the deadly knife attack in a regional train in Brokstedt, Schleswig-Holstein, before the Itzehoe district court from this Friday. In the trial, prosecutors accuse him of two counts of murder and four counts of attempted murder.
The Palestinian is said to have stabbed a 17-year-old and her boyfriend, who was two years older, at the end of January. Two other women and two men suffered serious injuries. After the train stopped at Brokstedt station, Ibrahim A. was overpowered. The prosecution is convinced that he acted out of base motives and with malice. A woman injured in the deadly knife attack later took her own life.
40 days of trial, 127 witnesses
Around 40 days of negotiations are planned for the process until shortly before Christmas. Eight joint plaintiffs appear in the proceedings, and 127 witnesses were named. The hearing of evidence will show whether all witnesses are heard by the court, said the spokeswoman for the regional court, Frederike Milhoffer. The hearing of evidence is scheduled to begin next week. The reading of the indictment is planned for the first day of the hearing. A statement from the defense or the defendant may follow.
Defender Björn Seelbach did not comment on the process in advance. He had previously said his client did not deny the crime. According to Milhoffer, the culpability of the accused, who had already made a criminal appearance, is being examined with the help of an expert.
“We assume culpability”
The accused is currently in custody. There he was noticed several times for aggressive behavior and is considered a difficult prisoner. “From the point of view of the prosecution, the actions of the accused, who is said to have stolen the knife in a supermarket, resulted from annoyance at his personal situation, which has not been clarified for many reasons,” said senior public prosecutor Peter Muller-Rakow after the indictment was announced. “We assume culpability,” said the lawyer before the trial began.
The man had been released from custody just a few days before the fatal knife attack, which he had served in Hamburg for another crime. During that time, he had seen 16 times with a psychiatrist about mental health issues.
The Ibrahim A. case also concerned several state parliaments because there had been deficiencies in the exchange of important information between authorities in Hamburg, Schleswig-Holstein and North Rhine-Westphalia, where Ibrahim A. lived and also committed crimes. A few months before his release from Hamburg prison, the alleged murderer is said to have compared himself to the assassin from Berlin’s Breitscheidplatz, Anis Amri.
jj/sti (dpa, afp)