Iraqi asylum seeker convicted of raping and murdering Jewish teen in Germany


(JTA) — An Iraqi man who sought asylum in Germany was convicted of raping and murdering a Jewish German teenage girl and sentenced to life in prison.

Ali Bashar fled Germany after killing Susanna Feldman, 14, in June 2018, and was discovered in Zakho, in Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdish region, where he admitted to the crime. There was no evidence that religion had been a factor.

Bashar had arrived in Germany in 2015 with his parents and five siblings, the French news agency AFP reported. His request for asylum had been rejected the following year and he remained in Germany waiting for his appeal.

The presiding judge said Tuesday that Bashar, 22, had committed a “coldblooded murder” and showed “neither remorse nor empathy,” AFP reported. Basher had “voiced no sincere word of regret” during his trial, the judge said. His case was found to be of “exceptional severity,” so Bashar will not be eligible for parole after 15 years as is usual.

Feldman’s body was found buried on the outskirts of the western German city of Wiesbaden on June 6, 2018, more than a week after the 14-year-old was killed. Bashar had sent messages from her cellphone to make her family believe she had taken a train to Paris. He left Germany and returned to Iraq during that time.

He was arrested and returned to Germany even though the countries do not have an extradition treaty.

The crime led to an increase in anti-migrant sentiment in Germany during the recent refugee crisis.

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