A refugee who sought asylum in Germany was given a sentence on Thursday, March 22, after being convicted of raping and murdering a 19-year-old girl.
Hussein Khavari claimed he was 17 when he committed the crime in 2016 but testing in his teeth showed he was at least 22 years of age.
Khavari broke down and asked for forgiveness during the trial, reported The Daily Mail. Judge Kathrin Schenk told him that he will serve life in prison, condemning his “lack of empathy.”
The courtroom broke out in applause when the sentence was given.
However, under German law life in prison means only 15 years behind bars with no chance of parole. There is a possibility of “security detention”afterward if officials believe the convict still poses a threat to society.
Germany opened its borders to the flood of refugees from Afghanistan, Syria, and other countries in recent years but has been facing an increasing backlash from some of its citizens due to crimes such as the ones Khavari committed.
Khavari told the court that he smoked hashish and drank copiously the night he encountered 19-year-old Maria Ladenburger, the daughter of a European Union official, in Freiberg, reported AFP.
He said he was kicked out of a bar before coming across the girl as she fell from her bicycle.
The refugee said he choked her with a scarf, although he denied raping her despite evidence that led to his conviction of that crime.
“When I saw how pretty she was, I wanted to have sex with her,” he said, adding that he dragged the girl into the river because he “wanted to wash her blood from me.”
The judge revealed that Khavari knew he was killing the girl.
“He knew that she was still alive as he laid her in the Dreisam [River], that she would drown, that she had to drown,” Schenk said, reported BBC.
Prosecutors disputed his account, saying the murder was premeditated. And a psychiatric expert said that Khavari’s expressed remorse was fake, adding that in his analysis there was a “high risk” of Khavari committing another crime if freed.
The judge learned that Khavari was convicted of attempted murder in Greece in 2013 for pushing a woman off of a cliff but was let out of jail in 2015 due to jail overcrowding before traveling to Germany.
Though Khavari said he is from Afghanistan, he lied about being a child refugee. Officials said postings on Khavari’s phone and social media accounts indicated that he lived in Iran before traveling through Europe.
The BBC reported that his father lives in Iran and told officials that Khavari is much older than his stated age, with some reports stating that Khavari is as old as 32.