Syrian man given 9.5-year jail term over deadly stabbing in Chemnitz, Germany, last year

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By Euronews  with EFE
Far-right march in Chemnitz in late August 2018.
Far-right march in Chemnitz in late August 2018.   -   Copyright  Reuters/Matthias Rietschel

A 24-year-old Syrian man was on Thursday sentenced to nine and a half years in jail over the fatal stabbing of a man in Chemnitz last year, which sparked far-right violence in the eastern German city.

The man, who arrived in Germany at the height of the migrant and refugee crisis in 2015, was arrested shortly after the August 26, 2018 killing of Daniel Hillig, 35.

An Iraqi man, known as Farhad A. and assumed to be Alaa S.'s accomplice, had also been charged for manslaughter and dangerous bodily harm but remains at large. He is the subject of an international arrest warrant.

During the trial, which was held in Dresden for security reasons, the prosecution had called for a 10-year prison sentence.

Defence lawyers, however, had demanded the charges be dropped arguing lack of evidence. The verdict was reached primarily on testimony from witnesses as Alaa's DNA was not found on the murder weapon. Experts who examined him hours after the knife killing also did not find any injuries usually sustained during such an attack.

The stabbing of Hillig, a German carpenter of Cuban heritage, led hundreds of far-right protesters to march through Chemnitz just hours after the fact.

A day later, thousands took the streets, chanting "More Power for Germany", "Freedom for Germany" and "Merkel must leave." Mobs were also reported to attack people who appeared foreign.

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