Two on trial for attack on German-Ethiopian

7th February 2007, Comments 0 comments

7 February 2007, Potsdam, Germany (dpa) - Two men went on trial Wednesday for a brutal attack that left a 37-year-old Ethiopian-born German citizen battling for his life. The case attracted widespread attention in Germany because the victim, engineer and doctoral student Ermyas M, managed to record the attackers using racial insults just before they knocked him unconscious. After the recording was broadcast nationwide, federal prosecutors took charge of solving the "race-hate" crime, but subsequent investi

7 February 2007

Potsdam, Germany (dpa) - Two men went on trial Wednesday for a brutal attack that left a 37-year-old Ethiopian-born German citizen battling for his life.

The case attracted widespread attention in Germany because the victim, engineer and doctoral student Ermyas M, managed to record the attackers using racial insults just before they knocked him unconscious.

After the recording was broadcast nationwide, federal prosecutors took charge of solving the "race-hate" crime, but subsequent investigations showed it might have been an alcohol-fuelled brawl.

The two accused, aged 29 and 31, pleaded not guilty to aggravated assault and failing to come to the assistance of the victim after the April 2006 attack in the eastern city of Potsdam.

Ermyas M, a PhD student and father of two - was in a coma for a long time after the assault and says he can no longer remember what happened.

Media reports said the victim was under the influence of alcohol when he became involved in a late-night altercation with the two accused at a tram stop.

According to the newspaper Die Welt, Ermyas M. reportedly first insulted the two men who then allegedly attacked him and began kicking them.

One of the two attackers then punched the victim, who fell over backwards and hit his skull on the pavement, leaving him with serious head injuries.

Investigators have pieced together this course of events from a recording of the attack on the voice mail box of the victim's wife whom Ermyas M. had tried to phone shortly before he was found bleeding at the tram station by a tax driver.

Some 60 witnesses are due to give evidence at the trial, which is expected to last until the end of April.

DPA

Subject: German news

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