Iraqi refugee Ali Bashar, the main suspect in the rape and murder of 14-year-old Susanna F. in the German city of Mainz, has been "arrested by Kurdish authorities in northern Iraq at the request of German federal police", according to German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer. The prime suspect of the crime, which shook Germany, fled the country with his parents and siblings before local police could detain him. The alleged perpetrator was suspected along with a 35-year old man of Turkish decent soon after the body of the victim was discovered. The latter was detained, but cleared of suspicions and released some time later, while Bashar managed to go on the run.
The German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reported that Bashar could not be arrested because he went underground a few days ago. He has reportedly returned to Iraq with his family of eight, flying home via Turkey. The media reports that false papers were used. This, however, hasn't been confirmed. Police have said that the fugitives managed to fly from Duesseldorf although names on their papers and airline tickets didn't match. According to the authorities, only photos on the identity documents.
Bashar, who lived in a refugee shelter in Erbenheim, came to Germany in the summer of 2015 to take advantage of the “open border policy” via Turkey and Greece along with the influx of refugees from the Middle East. He pleaded to be threatened by the PKK, a Kurdish group, and applied for asylum, but was rejected in December 2016, according to the FAZ. Nevertheless, he has been staying with a residence permit in Germany, having appealed the decision.
Bashar had attracted police attention more than once over the past year, according to local police chief Stefan Müller, as cited by FAZ. In April 2017 Bashar was suspected of fighting in a brawl, but charges were dropped. In February 2018, he was known to be in the vicinity when a man was beaten by three unknown assailants. In March 2018, Bashar encountered a city policewoman at night in Wiesbaden, who accused him of criminal mischief. Additionally, around that time, Bashar and an accomplice allegedly used a knife to mug a man. Afterwards, Wiesbaden police intercepted Bashar in the city and found a knife on him. He was also reportedly suspected raping an eleven-year-old girl from his shelter in May; however, the suspicions haven’t been confirmed.
"The girl was raped by an Ali. There were four Alis living in the refugee home," said local police chief Stefan Mueller.
According to the AFP, The right-wing party Alternative for Germany (AfD), rooting for tougher stance on migration, have called a protest on June 9 under the slogan "That's enough" and demanded Angela Merkel's resignation.
"Susanna is a new victim of the egotistical and hypocritical welcoming policy of Chancellor Angela Merkel," AfD leader Alice Weidel, cited by the media.
Meanwhile, counter demonstrators are planning anti-racism rally on the same day.
Susanna Feldman went missing on May 22; a girl’s corpse was later discovered on a railway line at Wiesbaden-Erbenheim, hidden under branches. Police forensics specialists conducted a DNA test and confirmed it was Susanna. Information about the whereabouts of the body was obtained from a 13-year-old boy from the home for asylum-seekers, who also provided Bashar's name.
Susanna’s murder occurred just six months after a 15-year-old girl, Mia, was allegedly stabbed to death by an Afghan refugee in the city of Kandel. He reportedly attacked her after she broke up with him. This triggered outrage across Germany and stirred debates over tightening the country's migrant control and refugee policy. In October 2016 medical student Maria Ladenburger was raped and murdered by a refugee from Afghanistan, who also applied for asylum in Germany. Hussein Khavari got life sentence in March 2018.