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German court releases Iraqi suspect in Chemnitz stabbing

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German court releases Iraqi suspect in Chemnitz stabbing

German court releases Iraqi suspect in Chemnitz stabbing
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Reuters
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A German court on Tuesday released an Iraqi asylum seeker detained last month over the fatal stabbing of a Cuban-German man, which sparked far-right protests in recent weeks.

The prosecutor’s office told Euronews that there were no witnesses against the Iraqi suspect: “There are no witnesses who have seen that he stabbed with a knife. Furthermore, objective evidence of his involvement in a homicide has not yet been established.”

“Today's hearing of the two defendants also did not lead to any further results. The arrest warrant was therefore revoked at the request of the public prosecutor's office," they added.

The prosecutor's office also said there was no evidence linking the suspect to the crime as the police never found his fingerprints on the knife believed to have been used: "The knife found, which is undoubtedly one of the tools of the crime, did not contain any DNA traces of the accused Iraqi after an intensive investigation.”

“However, a second knife must have been used. This could not be found despite intensive search so far.”

The prosecutor's office also confirmed the investigation is ongoing: "Investigations into the involvement of the Iraqi accused in the assault, in which two other persons were injured in addition to the killed victim, are continuing intensively”.

A Syrian man who was also detained over the stabbing of the man remains in custody, and a third suspect is still on the run. Prosecutors think the latter and the Syrian were involved in killing the 35-year-old carpenter.

"The public prosecutor's office in Chemnitz assumes that the Syrian accused in custody and another fugitive Iraqi suspect were involved in the homicide. The latter is still being investigated at high speed”.

The Iraqi’s lawyer complained about his client’s detention

“Today’s revocation of the arrest warrant was long overdue,” Ulrich Dost-Roxin, the lawyer of the Iraqi man, wrote in a post on his website. “My client Yousif A. has had to spend more than three weeks in remand without any concrete suspicion, it was a deprivation of liberty instead of lawful pre-trial detention.”

Dost-Roxin said he was considering taking legal action against those responsible for the unjustified arrest. He claimed that the evidence named in the warrant by the prosecutor was fake evidence.“The suspicion that he (the prosecutor) deliberately wanted to deprive my client of his freedom in a law-abiding manner is literally obvious".

German domestic intelligence chief removed from post

The head of Germany's domestic intelligence agency, Hans-Georg Maassen has been removed after accusations of showing sympathy for the far-right party Alternative for Germany (AfD), government spokesman Steffen Seibert said Tuesday.

Maassen had questioned the authenticity of video footage showing far-right radicals harassing migrants in Chemnitz.

The news was announced following crisis talks over the future of Maassen between Chancellor Angela Merkel and her coalition partners - Interior Minister Horst Seehofer, of the right-wing Bavarian CSU, and centre-left Social Democrat (SPD) leader Andrea Nahles.

Maasen will become a senior official at the interior ministry once he leaves the BfV agency, the government said in a statement.