- Afghan man Mansoor Q. is one of two men accused of attacking the young girl
- His lawyers claim he may not have been 14 and therefore could not be convicted
- He has helped prosecutors in their case against his co-defendant, Ali Bashar, who is separately accused of murdering 14-year-old schoolgirl Susanna Feldman
An Afghan accused of raping an 11-year-old girl in Germany could walk free after his lawyers claimed he may have been too young to face charges.
The asylum seeker, known as Mansoor Q, is one of two men – along with Iraqi murder suspect Ali Bashar – accused of attacking the young girl.
But defence lawyers said his age was unclear and he may not have been 14 at the time, meaning he could not be tried or convicted under German law.
Mansoor’s barrister Michael Harschneck told the court in Wiesbaden there were ‘great uncertainties’ over the defendant’s age, Bild reported.
‘We have presented documents from which it appears that Mansoor was not yet 14 at the time of the offence,’ Harschneck said.
The defence did not have to prove or disprove anything and it was up to the prosecution to verify his age, he said.
Prosecutors acknowledged there were differing documents but cited expert reports which showed he was at least 14 years old at the time.
At 14, the age of criminal responsibility in Germany is higher than that in Britain (10) or France (13).
Mansoor has also helped prosecutors with their separate murder case against his co-defendant Bashar, who is also accused of killing 14-year-old schoolgirl Susanna Maria Feldman.
He is said to have given authorities crucial information which helped them arrest Bashar.
Both men are standing trial for the alleged rape of the 11-year-old.
Mansoor also helped prosecutors with their separate murder charge against Ali Bashar (pictured), who is also accused of killing 14-year-old schoolgirl Susanna Maria Feldman (right) as well as raping the 11-year-old
Following a public outcry over Susanna’s death, German federal police hauled Bashar back from Arbil, northern Iraq, where he had been arrested by local Kurdish security forces.
Bashar was put on a flight to Germany despite the absence of a formal extradition treaty between Iraq and Germany.
The 21-year-old is accused of raping and strangling the schoolgirl in a wooded area near his refugee shelter in Wiesbaden last May 23.
He also faces charges for a park robbery in which he allegedly beat, strangled and threatened a man with a knife to steal his watch, bag, phone and bank card.
The Susanna case prompted politicians including Chancellor Angela Merkel to urge the speeding up of deportations of asylum-seekers who have broken the law in Germany.
The trials continue.
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