Man charged in German politician’s murder faces second accusation

Karlsruhe, Germany (dpa) – The man accused of murdering German politician Walter Luebcke last year is likely to face new charges in an attack on an Iraqi refugee, sources told dpa on Wednesday.

The federal prosecutor’s office wants to charge Stephan E, whose name has been withheld in line with German privacy rules, in the 2016 knife attack against the Iraqi national, the sources said.

The 46-year-old German man is suspected of shooting Luebcke, then-head of the local government in Kassel, on 2 June 2019 because of his support for refugees.

Prosecutors have been investigating the attack on the Iraqi man since September. He was stabbed in the back by an unknown perpetator on January 6, 2016, and later required intensive care.

Prosecutors believe a knife seized from Stephan E was used in the attack. Forensic experts only recently discovered traces on the knife said to have come from the Iraqi victim.

Stephen E was questioned after the 2016 attack but was never formally accused. The Iraqi man lived in refugee accommodations that Luebcke had advocated for.

The prosecutor’s charges against Stephan E for the murder of Luebcke, which have yet to be filed, will be accompanied by charges of attempted murder and assault against the Iraqi victim, the sources said.

Defense attorney Frank Hannig told Zeit Online and NDR that his client rejected the new accusation, adding that the authorities are trying to “blame him for every unsolved crime in Kassel in recent years.”

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