The last word belongs to the defendant. Asif M., for the first time on this day, lifts his eyes from his lap as slowly as if weights were hanging on his eyelids. He is a big, slender guy with a delicate nose and strong eyebrows. A beard shaded over his cheeks. The prosecutor’s, prosecutor’s and his deputy’s pleadas have translated an interpreter from him simultaneously, but now the 26-year-old from Pakistan is trying to squeeze a few quiet sentences in German. “I would really like to apologize to all women,” said one. “I felt so lonely at the time. I have no family, I am all alone, “another. Tears fill his voice.
Pause. Then the second criminal chamber of the Berlin regional court proclaims the verdict: Four years of imprisonment for a rape, an attempted rape and four other sexual assaults. At the beginning of the trial in December, M. had shown his deeds to a large extent and that he was without a criminal record. Nevertheless, it goes beyond the maximum of three years and nine months which the court had promised if it gave a full-fledged confession.
The motif? He did not find a friend
Asif M. fled with 15 from Pakistan, before the Taliban, he told court. He spent the first years in Greece, then went to Austria and finally to Germany two years ago. In Berlin he came to a refugee home, he was a bartender in a restaurant. In an attempt to explain the motive for his actions, M. had told the process that it was difficult to get a girlfriend if he was a refugee and has nothing to offer.
He sought his victims in the street. In the spring and summer of last year, he talked at night to young women who were traveling alone. When they rejected him, he turned to violence.
On 29 April 2016, around 11.45 pm, an Erasmus student from France went from a restaurant to the student home. She thought of a friend who had drowned a week ago in the nearby Teltow Canal, and decided to take a short detour along the water. Asif M. held her up, asked her where she was going. “Home,” the student replied. He pulled her down the embankment under a bridge and raped her.
Several women succeeded in driving him out
In the night of May 15, around 1:30 am, M. spoke another woman on the street and offered her a joint. When she was about to go, he tugged at her bag until she fell to the ground. He knelt at her, held her mouth shut and tore down her leggins. When she was able to scream, he let her go.
In the late evening of the 15th of May, he followed a woman into the house, told her that he had his birthday today, whether she did not want to take him with him. Then he pinched her in the chest and buttocks. When she threatened to call for help, he ran away.
Another woman he also pursued in her house up to the elevator, her mouth closed and gripped her at the chest and butt. As she tried to free herself, he hit her flat-handed in the face and fled.
The consequences for the victims are dramatic
Two other women also managed to drive him out with screams. His sixth and last victim barely managed to do so: on July 25th at 2.15 in the night, the young woman had already been taking his steps for a while, when she decided to stop and let the stranger pass by. Then Asif M. seized her from behind to the buttocks and into the crotch. “I do not want this,” she shouted several times, she changed the road and accelerated her step. She was almost at home when M. caught up with him and dragged him to a lawn. He knelt over her and closed her mouth, but for a brief moment she could loosen his hand and scream. Her mother, who had been waiting anxiously at the front door, heard her and called for her daughter. Asif M. then ran off and hid. Two hours later the police took him.
Only one of the six women came to the court to pronounce judgment. She looks Asif M.’s face, while the punishment is read. After he had attacked her in the elevator, her lawyer reported that she had been afraid for weeks that he would be waiting for her again. “My client still avoids having one man alone in a small room.” In closed rooms, she instinctively looks for an escape route.
The consequences for 19 to 25-year-old women, who are actually at an age when they should enjoy their lives to the full, are “dramatic,” stresses Bettina Sy. The mother of the last victim had described how her daughter was locked up for weeks in the apartment. She had had to practice with her to leave the house again. Only 50 meters. Then 100.
At night, none of the women dared to go out alone on the street. The Erasmus student has canceled an internship in Germany and has gone back to France. She had not told her friends about the incident at home, she said during her testimony. She was afraid that the look at her would change.
After imprisonment the deportation threatens
Her lawyer and the prosecutor ended her plea on this day with an appeal: “This is a case, it is wrong to foment a discussion about refugees,” they say.
In its Statistics on Crime among Immigrants, the Federal Criminal Police Office notes that in Germany in 2015 a total of 36,532 enlightened sexual injuries were committed by immigrants. Sexual outbreaks of immigrants would thus have increased by 77 percent from 2014 (949) to 2015. However, the number of immigrants also tripled in the same period. Sexual injuries account for 1.1% of the total number of crimes committed by refugees. This corresponds to the federal average.
This is no consolation for the victims. Asif M. can now make a revision; That his judgment could change significantly, is unlikely. After several years of imprisonment, his defender confirms, M. also threatens the deportation to Pakistan.
9 February 2017