06:20 GMT14 August 2020
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    The trial of a young refugee who was arrested last year for the rape and murder of a German student began Tuesday in Freiburg. The incident sent shockwaves through the western European country, with sharp criticisms being aimed at its immigration policies.

    In December 2016, Huseen K. was arrested in the southwestern town of Freiburg for raping a 19-year-old medical student identified as Maria Ladenburger, leaving her on the banks of the Dreisam River where she drowned, according to an autopsy.

    Prosecutors accused Huseen of killing Maria, "insidiously and for sexual satisfaction."

    As the killings grabbed headlines across the country, anger over the incident was aimed chiefly at German Chancellor Angela Merkel for letting more than a million refugees into Germany since 2015, when Europe’s migrant crisis was at its peak.

    The furor was further stoked when it was revealed that Huseen had been jailed for an attempted murder in 2014 for pushing a woman off a cliff in Greece. Though he was sentenced to 10 years in prison, he was released after serving a little over a year, as Greece was seeking to address its prison overcrowding issues.

    Huseen arrived in Germany in 2015, claiming to be from Afghanistan and registering as unaccompanied minor. He later admitted in court that he had lied about his age, saying that when he killed Ladenburger he was 18 instead of 17, as he originally claimed.

    There are still some questions about his background, as German prosecutors have argued that he is 22 years old today and should be tried as an adult. Court documents also indicate that Huseen was born in Iran instead of Afghanistan.

    Critics have pointed to the case an an example of insufficient vetting for the large number of refugees that entered Germany in 2015, a result of countries not communicating about migrants with criminal histories.

    Huseen surprised the court by reversing his previous decision to stay silent during trial proceedings, telling the judges Tuesday, "I want to testify," AFP reports.


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    refugee crisis, Rape, Murder, trial, Refugee, Angela Merkel, Germany
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