An asylum seeker has appeared in court accused of having killed his landlady because she was an infidel.
A Muslim man named only as Abubaker C. appeared for the first time in the courthouse of Heilbronn, a city in the south-western German state of Baden-Wuerttemberg, on murder charges.
Prosecutors say the ‘asylum seeker’ killed his landlady Maria M., 70, in the nearby town of Bad Friedrichshall because she was an infidel.
Although the man’s full surname has been withheld under Germany’s privacy laws, his real name is unclear because he has given various names and ages when questioned about himself, telling detectives on one occasion: “I am known by many names.”
The asylum seeker is estimated to be 27 years old and thought to have been born in Pakistan, although he says his family moved to Saudi Arabia with him later on in life.
In court he had a Punjabi translator, a language spoken in Pakistan.
The prosecution alleges that the defendant strangled his victim with a telephone cable.
Afterwards, he is said to have smashed his victim’s face with an iron rod and fled the house with cash and jewelry.
When the police arrived, the walls were full of Arabic writing, including verses of the Quran, and also the English phrase: “It’s payback time.”
A lawyer for the prosecution said: “The accused wanted to kill a person who disbelieved in his view.”
She called for Abubaker C. to be imprisoned for at least 20 years.
The accused left numerous DNA traces at the scene, by which the police could easily link him to the murder, the court heard.
The stolen goods, including a Samsung mobile phone belonging to Maria M.’s husband, were found in the defendant’s possession.
His diary also contained the sentence: “It’s payback time.”
In the audience benches tears were shed when Guenter M., a retired teacher, described how he had found his wife’s body the morning after the murder.
On the day of the murder, they had celebrated a granddaughter’s 18th birthday and in the evening, they had watched TV together.
Before going to bed, he wished his wife a “blessed night” and stroked her in the shape of a cross over her forehead before going to the separate bedroom he uses because of his loud snoring.
He added: “I am happy that I had this farewell.”
Abubaker C. has denied all charges and says he is innocent.
A verdict is expected in February.