Germany: “It Is Only A Woman”, Said Maria Ladenburger’s Murderer

A report from the 18th day of the trial of Hussein Khavari, who killed and raped 19-year-old Maria Ladenburger on October 16, 2016. An original translation from Die Welt:

“It’s only a woman”, said Hussein K.

By Christine Kensche
January 26., 2017

More lies – and a peculiar view of women: At the trial of Hussein K. in the Maria L. murder case, Greek police officers report of their investigations. In 2013, K. had hurled a female student over a quay wall on Corfu.

The sun is setting at the horizon, the facades are shimmering in shades of terracotta, the sea is Greece-blue. A narrow sidewalk winds along the bay. View over a waist-high handrail: the quay wall is plunging ten meters, down there are rocks, waves, a narrow stripe of grit.

Over this handrail, Hussein K. had hurled a young woman. “The girl was lucky”, the police officer resumes. She landed on the stripe of gravel and broke her bones. If she had landed on the rocks, she would probably have been dead.

On this day 18 of the homicide case in Freiburg, holiday films are shown. Chief Prosecutor Eckart Berger took these films when he went to Corfu in his holidays. On this island, Hussein K. committed his first crime that went on records, before he came to Freiburg as an allegedly under-aged refugee and raped and murdered student Maria L.

Berger took the trouble so that the court can visualize the crime scene. Two police officers from Greece came and recall their investigations. What they have to tell from Hussein K.’s interrogation, sounds all too familiar with his statements at the Freiburg district court. It is the same pattern of lies – and a peculiar picture of women.

Hussein K. and his first victim met in the early morning hours of May 26., 2013, in Corfu city. Spyridoula C., who was a 20 year and a student at that time, describes it as following: It was around 2:20 AM when she walked home from a bar at the promenade, and saw K. approaching on the other side of the street.

Bitter laughter in the auditorium

He crossed the street blazingly fast and started punching her, grabbed her handbag and pushed her to the ground. Then she saw the headlights of a car and screamed for help. K. grabbed her and lifted her over the handrail, headfirst. C. grasped on to the fence and begged him not to hurt her. Hussein K. told her to shut up. He detached her grasp and threw her over the handrail.

There is a bitter laughter in the auditorium when the Greek officers describe his arrest. He was carrying a document that identified him as an asylum seeker from Afghanistan, birthday: 01.01.1996. He had stated Nov. 11, 1999 to German authorities. The question of age is of critical importance in this trial for the degree of penalty.

The Greek investigators had managed that same night to arrest K. The student was able to describe him quite well, and besides, she had noticed that his trousers were wet. Even though he had changed clothes in the meantime, investigators found the grey Nike sneakers, now wet, too, which Spyridoula C. had described.

In the interrogations, Hussein K. got tangled up in contradictions, the two officers report. For example, he had alleged that he was drunk and had wanted to clean himself in the sea. “He definitely wasn’t drunk”, says the chief of investigations. He thinks that K. wanted to rob the student’s handbag, and then, when cars came and he feared discovery, he threw her down the quay wall. Later then he wanted to see if she was still lying on the bay.

But at that point, the gravely injured 20-year-old had already managed to drag herself home, half unconscious. At a confrontation in the hospital, she identified Hussein K.

K. confessed. But his “confessions” is a concoction of lies and half-truths, just „like the one he served at the start of the Freiburg trial. Yes, he and the student had met on the street to the harbor. But she got scared of him for no reason at all and suddenly started screaming. He “pushed her out of the way” in order to be able to walk past her on the narrow promenade.

“It is only a woman”

Sebastian Glathe, Hussein K.’s attorney, repeatedly probes why there was no attorney at the interrogation back then. K. renounced an attorney, says the chief of investigations. Why would he have done that, asks Glathe. “Maybe he thought he would not get sentenced anyway”, replies the police officer. Hussein K. was “cool” and “indifferent” during the interrogation, he says. At one point, he commented: “But it is only a woman”.

A Greek court sentenced Hussein K. to ten years prison, according to youth criminal code, for robbery and attempted murder. But in an amnesty, K. was released already in October 2015 and came to Germany. The Freiburg lawsuit is prolonged, among other reasons, for the testimony of the Greek officers. They are to help the decision in an important point: preventive detention.

In order to be able to impose it, the court needs to prove that the accused has got a so-called leaning to grave crimes, and will be dangerous in the future, too. For this, experts analyze the past: which crimes did the suspect already commit? How did he proceed? The analysis of the background is to give clues as to how he will act in the future.

The preventive detention needs to be imposed in the verdict, or at least reserved. It is not a punishment but meant to protect society of a perpetrator who will still be dangerous after serving his sentence. Psychiatrists will evaluate every two years if the arrested person still poses a risk. He will remain in detention as long as the prognosis for him is negative – in theory, this can be until his death.

So there is a lot at stake for Hussein K. He seems to understand that, unlike normally, on this day, he often leans over to interpreter and attorney and whispers to them. Admittedly, it appears that there were no sexual motivations for his crime on Corfu; at least his victim did not notice anything like that. But the psychiatric expert will have taken note of the indifference and brutality with which K. committed this earlier crime.

There is another striking detail that had surfaced on an earlier day of the trial. When the German investigators analyze the Facebook profile of Hussein K., they discover a picture of a werewolf towering over an undressed woman.

Judge Kathrin Schenk wants to know why he chose that motive. “I googled wolf”, replied the accused. But now the Greek investigators describe the clothes that Hussein K. wore back then: in that night in May 2013, when he threw a woman down a cliff, he wore a black T-shirt with the face of a wolf.

The werewolf picture that Hussein Khavari had posted on his Facebook profile. Source: Facebook

Hussein Khavari, posing on Facebook. Source: Facebook

Medical student Maria Ladenburger. Source: Facebook


Maria L. was his third victim, at least

As a supplement to the videos posted earlier today, two original translations with slightly differing details.

Hussein Khavari confessed to killing Maria Ladenburger

1. from Badische Zeitung:
Second day of the trial of Hussein K.:
A confession – and possibly another rape
The defendant Hussein K. confessed to killing the student Maria L. The first witness testimony in the trial alleges to another crime: Possibly, Hussein K. raped a girl as a teenager in Iran. The second day of the trial in recap

The Confession
A long second day in the case of the murder of Maria L. brings several bombshells. First, the defendant Hussein K. made a comprehensive confession. He admitted to killing and then raping the studet Maria L. in the early nmorning hours of October 16, 2016, around 3 AM on the bike trail at the river Dreisam behind the SC stadion. This was his depiction. He placed the lifeless victim only a meter from the shore into the river, to wash away the blood that had dropped on her. Hussein K. said that he had injured himself on the thorns of a black berry bush. Previously, he had stopped Maria L. with a kick against her bicycle. The student was on her way home from a party.

Hussein K. said that he had strangled his victim, who was screaming loudly, to death with his scarf. He had abused her after she had died. As a matter of fact, according to the forensic findings, Maria drowned in the Dreisam. The victim’s body had several bite wounds.
Trial observers note that the confession of the defendant does not unequivocally contain characteristics of murder [as defined in German law – translator]. Thus, at least in theory, a sentence for manslaughter might come into question.

The First Witness
The first witness to testify is the detective chief inspector who was presiding the investigations as the criminal investigation department’s main case handler. The investigators were able to reconstruct with witness testimonies how the defendant had spent the day and the evening before the deed. First, he had been drinking and smoking hashish with friends in the Seepark. According to the investigators, the friends cannot confirm that Hussein K. was under the influnece as strongly as he had said. The group of young men then later parted ways downtown.

The alleged attempt at Prostitution
Hussein K., the witness reports, thereupon went to the homosexual venue “Sonderbar”. There, he offered sexual services for money to a guest – who declined. He allegedly also harassed two women in the bar.

Did Hussein K. rape a 12-year old when he was 14?
The investigator pointed to the testimony of a fellow inmate of Hussein K. This inmate testified that the defendant had told him about the crime in Greece, where he threw a young woman down a quai wall. And Hussein K. allegedly also told him that when he was 14, he had raped a 12-year old girl in Iran. The case never went on records, as the families arrived at an arrangement. Hussein K. was beaten – by his own father. Apparently, the prosecution inivestigated into this case. It seems that there is another testimony on this, but according to BZ information no official confirmation.

The Question of Age
The age of Hussein K. remains open. He gave different answers to two friends who kept inquiring. He told one that he was 27. To the other one he said that he was 24. He also told authorities in Greece and in Germany completely different dates of birth.
There will be age expertises presented in the course of the trial. One will be based upon the examination of a canine of Hussein K. The defendant had been keeping this tooth in his room, where the investigators found it at the search of the house.

2. From Focus*.
Hussein K. admits to abuse and violence against Maria L.
Day Two of the Trial
September 11, 2017
Focus Online reporter Fabian Herbers

An improvised memorial at the scene of the crime

09.05 AM: Punctually at nine, the defendant Hussein K. enters the hall in the district court Freiburg. He knows the frenzy of flashing cameras from the first day of the trial. He is shackled on hands and feet today, too.

09:19 AM: The defendant reads a prepared note: “I ask you for forgiveness. I want to apologize to the family of Maria. I wish I could make it undone. I am sorry from the bottom of my heart about what I have done”. He says that he dreams about it every day. He speaks quietly, but is alert. After he has finished reading, he wipes tears from his face. Maria’s parents do not attend the second day of the trial either.

09:24 AM: Hussein K. testifies about his age. He says, he is 19 years old. Before the trial, Hussein K. had said that he was 17 at the time of the crime in October 2016.

09:44 AM: Hussein K. details the night of the crime. He were drinking and smoking hashish with three friends. Then he got kicked out of a bar because he was so drunk. At some point, he walked home. At the river Dreisam, the girl approacched him on the bike. He kicked the bike, so she fell. Maria screamed, he pressed her mouth close. Then, he strangled her with her scarf, and laid her in the water, unconsciously. “When I saw how pretty she was, I wanted sex with her.”

But in his own account, he was too drunk to have an erection. Therefore, he inserted his hand. As he had injured himself previously at a bike accident, he dragged her into the river, to wash his blood from her body. Then, he fled. After his account, he cries, the judge orders a break.

10:30 AM: Judge Schenk inquires: How did you feel the days before the deed? Hussein K. says that he attempted suicide seven days before the deed. Allegedly, he too, 15 sleeping pills and a juice. A psychiatrist allegedly prescribed him both. The judge tries to reconstruct the evening before the deed. To many questions, Hussein K. replies that he didn’t know anymore. He avoids eye contact, keeps his head lowered. He could not remember where he boarded the street tram after the deed. “If I tell you that there are video recordings of you at Bertholdsbrunnen, can you remember then?”, the judge asks. But this question does not help either.

“Did you want to have sex with a dead?”
10:50 AM: He is asked to detail the deed again. Because she screamed, he took her scarf and put it around her neck until she didn’t move anymore. He thought that she was dead. “Did you want to have sex with a dead?”, the judge asks. Hussein K. answers: “I didn’t mind having sex with a dead.”

11.56 Uhr: Hussein K. is still in the witness stand. He speaks quietly, and assures the judge upon her requests that he cannot remember anything. The judges want to fill in blanks, that Hussein accounted for vaguely or left out in his testimony. Often, his answer is: “I don’t know.” The judge inquires about a “Chinese” whom he allgedly met that night. A witness is reported to have said that the defendant told him that he wanted to rape her, too. But Hussein K. denies that.

The suspect allegedly harassed other women
12:23 PM: It is the prosecutor’s term to question the defendant. The central question is: did the deed happen on impulse, or with the intent to rape the womanChief Prosecutor Eckart Berger lists that Hussein K. did not just harass a woman in a bar, but another woman in the street tram, proven by the video recording. Furthermore, he had been staring for minutes at a woman at the ticket vending machine. To each of these questions, the defendant replies that he cannot remember.

He does not admit that he allegedly told a friend after the deed that he had killed and raped a woman. Neither does he admit that, according to testimonies by friends, he had already before the deed intended to rape a woman. Where do the biting wounds on Maria’s body come from? In his own account, Hussein K. doesn’t remember.

12:43 PM: Hussein K. says that he did not see whether the cyclist at the Dreisam was a man or a woman. The lawyer of Maria L.’s parents wants to know why then he kicked the person from the bike, it might have been a strong man. Hussein K. says that he simply kicked, without giving it a thought.

12:57 PM: The defendant comes back to his failed suicide attempt, seven days before the deed. He were wishing today that he would have managed to end his life. Because of the failed suicide attempt, he were not feeling well on the day of the deed.

1:00 PM: The hearing is suspended for a lunch break. It will be continued at 2:15.

2:33 PM: The first referee is police officer Edgar Pfeifer. At 8:20 in the morning after the deed, police received several calls. A patrol car then found the naked body of Maria L. She was lying in the water at the riverside. In her bag, police found her ID. Thus, they learnt that the victim had been living in a student home. Interviews there revealed that Maria L. had a boyfriend. But the two separated consensually a while before the deed.

Maria L. sent her last message to a girlfriend
2:58 PM: The police officer explains that Maria L. was known as abstinent and cautious. In her pocket, the investigators found a sealed condom. It turned out that she had gotten it on the event where she had just been as a giveaway from a condom company. Data from her mobile phone shows that Maria L. sent her last Whatsapp message from there to a girlfriend: she were cycling home now.

3:27 PM: Police officer Pfeifer explains how the investigators found the trace of Hussein K.: Five hair strands were  secured in a blackberry bush at the scene of the crime. Four of them were the victim’s. The fifth was 18 centimetres long, brown, with bleached lengths. Police subsequently viewed for days video material from the night of the crime from cameras all across town.

Finally, an investigator saw a man, in a video recording from a street train line 1 bound to Littenweiler, whose hair matched the hair that was found at the scene of the crime – he wore an undercut and a pony tail. The man’s behaviour in the video recording raised suspicion, because, according to Pfeifer, he sat down next to a woman at the station Bertholdsbrunnen. She seemed visibly uncomfortable and left to find a different seat. Then, on December 2., 2016, the manhunt was successful: A female police officer from Freiburg recognized Hussein K. on the street, even though he was wearing a baseball cap and had changed his hair.

4:04 PM: Now, it is about his age: how old was Hussein K. at the time of the crime? “He did not seem like a 17-year-old to me”, says Pfeifer and points out the older appearance, and his “bearing”. His behaviour in detention, too, pointed towards K. being older. The policeman also says: in the night of the crime, Hussein K. was out and about with six men – but then he went to the “Sonderbar” – a homosexual venue in Freiburg, Piper says. The barkeeper there said that K. seemed absolutely sober to him. Hussein K. offered a male guest sex for money. But the man refused. Then, K. danced with a woman and “groped” her.

4:43 PM: In jail, Hussein K. apparently confessed to a fellow prisoner, who then later on told the police that K., according to his own words, when he was 14, raped a 12-year old from a neighboring village in Afghanistan. There were no charges laid, the two families agreed on a corporal punishment for K.

15:30 PM: The second day of the trial is ending. 

* This text appeared in Focus in slightly different form. Assuming that readers are familiar, we left out the introduction, which recaps the crime, and the last paragraph, which recaps day 1 of the trial. We then re-arranged the order for your reading convenience, as the article was originally published in form of evolving updates, with the first entry from 9:05 AM at the bottom and the closing of the day on top.