Handout picture released on June 7, 2018 by the Police of Wiesbaden shows Iraqi asylum seeker Ali Bashar, 20, suspected for the rape and murder of 14-year-old Susanna Maria Feldman, after sexually assaulting her. Photo: AFP/Rudaw
DUHOK, Kurdistan Region — The fate of a man who was detained in Duhok on Friday and wanted for the rape and murder of a girl while he was trying to seek asylum in Germany will be determined by authorities from the Kurdistan Region in coordination with their German counterparts.
“The alleged murderer will go to court, but whether it will be judged here or in Germany, it depends on KRG and the German government,” Duhok police chief Tariq Ahmed told Rudaw.
Ali Bashar, 20, was detained
by police in Duhok on Friday after Germany’s interior ministry contacted the Kurdistan Regional Government Ministry of Interior.
“The interior minister [Karim Sinjari] contacted me and gave the information of the accused murder and emphasized for this criminal to be detained,” added Ahmed, explaining that photos of the suspected crime scene were shared.
Authorities from the KRG then contacted local officials in the western province of Duhok.
Duhok police chief Tariq Ahmed speaks to Rudaw on June 8, 2018.
“I ordered three officers to investigate the case. After seven hours, the officers were able to identify the location of the accused murderer and arrest him,” explained Ahmed.
The police chief said after the accused while in custody “confessed to the crime of killing a 14 year-old German girl after he raped the girl.”
The KRG’s security and intelligence services cooperate with European governments and international agencies.
“We have had other similar cases; we have connection with other countries via Interpol to deal with criminals hiding in Kurdistan,” added Ahmed.
The KRG and German governments have had good diplomatic relations with the former having a representation office in Berlin, and the latter having a consulate general in Erbil.
"I thank the participating Kurdish security forces for making the arrest possible," Germany's Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said on Friday.
German police began investigating after the mother of Susanna Maria Feldman, 14, reported her missing from her home in Wiesbaden on May 23. Her body was found at a nearby railroad track.
German prosecutor Achim Thoma said the cause of death was strangulation.
Bashar had been living in a center for refugees with relatives in the same city near Frankfurt.
AFP reported he arrived in Germany in 2015 with his parents and five siblings. The agency added his asylum request was rejected in December 2016, but he obtained temporary residency pending his appeal.
In this period, he had several run-ins with the police for alleged robbery, possession of an illegal knife, and for fighting.
He was also a suspect in the sexual assault of an 11-year-old girl living in the same refugee shelter, according to AFP.
"The girl was raped by an Ali. There were four Alis living in the refugee home," said Stefan Mueller, the West Hesse Highlands police chief.
Rudaw spoke with a Kurdish coworker of Ali in Wiesbaden on Friday.
“More than half and a year ago, this boy came here to work at our company. He introduced himself as a person from Zakho,” said the source who wished to remain anonymous.
Zakho is the second-largest city in Duhok province.
“A few days ago our manager came with some police officers. They showed me a picture of Ali and asked me whether I know him or not. I said I know him and he is from Zakho,” the source added.
Immigration and asylum have become highly politicized issues in Germany. Last week, pro- and anti-immigration protests were held simultaneously in the capital.
In Germany, asylum seeking peaked at 890,000 in 2015. It dropped to 280,000 in 2016, and 186,644 in 2017 — due in part to a deal between the European Union and Turkey for the latter to provide shelter to refugees in exchange for billions of euros.