A German court ruled that a Muslim man who admitted stabbing a rabbi did not intend to kill him.
The man identified as Sajed A., a German of Afghan ancestry, was sentenced to 3 1/2 years in jail by the Frankfurt District Court for the September stabbing of Rabbi Zalman Gurevitch.
Sajed, who said he was acting in self-defense, was convicted of causing grievous bodily harm. Had he been convicted of attempted murder in a bias case – as the rabbi’s attorney, Rolf Doering, had argued – Sajed could have been jailed for 15 years.
The state prosecutor had asked for a minimum of four years, while Doering had asked for five years, eight months.
Gurevitch, who required an emergency surgery after the stabbing, is planning to appeal the sentence based on the grievous bodily harm conviction, according to reports on the Spiegel Online magazine.
The rabbi testified that he had been on his way home from Sabbath services on Sept. 7 when Sajed shouted at him, “S–- Jew, I will kill you,” and stabbed him in the stomach. Sajed later said he had been driven by fear of the rabbi, who was the larger of the two men.
Some witnesses said the two men had argued before the stabbing. Der Spiegel said this could not be verified because two Jewish witnesses who live abroad said they were afraid for their safety and would not testify.