Iraqi jailed for life for 'honour killing' in Germany
11 October 2007, MUNICH (AFP) - An Iraqi who repeatedly stabbed his wife then burned her to death in front of their young son in Germany was given a life sentence Thursday in the latest 'honour killing' trial to make national headlines.
11 October 2007
MUNICH (AFP) - An Iraqi who repeatedly stabbed his wife then burned her to death in front of their young son in Germany was given a life sentence Thursday in the latest 'honour killing' trial to make national headlines.
The defendant, identified by the court in the southern city of Munich only as Kazim M., 36, admitted stabbing his 24-year-old Iraqi wife Sazan, dousing her with petrol and burning her alive in the street as the couple's five-year-old son watched.
Hours before the attack in October last year, a court had granted the couple a divorce.
Kazim M. told the court he had no regrets about what he had done because he believed his wife had cheated on him.
"I am very happy that I did it. She betrayed me, she deserved it," he told the court on the first day of the trial last week.
He said his father had told him he would kill Sazan if he did not do it himself.
Prosecutor Peter Boie said the crime was horrific.
"We rarely see pictures of such a seriously maimed body, even in a criminal court," he told the court.
Witnesses who saw the attack had tried to save the woman's life, but she died in hospital.
The couple had an arranged marriage in Iraq when Sazan was 17, Kazim M. told the court, saying the couple had met for the first time just half an hour before the ceremony.
A dowry worth 32,000 euros (45,400 dollars) and jewellery was paid as part of the marriage arrangement. They moved to Germany soon after their wedding.
In 2005, Sazan had succeeded in having her husband barred from their flat in the Munich suburbs after he became physically abusive.
A court subsequently ordered that he must not contact her.
'Honour killing' describes the murder of a woman accused of bringing shame upon her family.
The United Nations Population Fund estimates that the annual worldwide total of killings might be as high as 5,000 women, and the crime appears to be on the rise among the three million Muslims living in Germany.
A Berlin-based organisation that seeks to help young Turkish women, Papatya, says 45 known cases of honour killings occurred in the country from 1996 to 2004.
A German court in August ordered the retrial of two Turkish brothers who were cleared of shooting their 23-year-old sister in a high-profile case.
Their younger brother, who was 18 at the time of the crime, admitted carrying out the shooting and was jailed for nine years, but the Federal Court of Justice ruled that his brothers should be re-tried after contradictions emerged in the evidence.
The court in that case heard the brothers became unhappy because she was a single mother and had insisted on wearing make-up and living an independent life.
Subject: German news