Expatica news

German to go on trial for deadly 1991 arson attack

A man will go on trial in Germany in November accused of murder in a 1991 arson attack on a home for asylum seekers in which a Ghanaian man died.

The accused, referred to by the court as Peter S., is said to have had a “racist motivation” for taking a can of petrol and setting fire to the lodgings in the town of Saarlouis in September 1991.

“In the stairwell of the residence, in which 21 people were staying at the time, the accused is said to have poured the petrol… and ignited the fuel,” the regional court in Koblenz said.

The fire “spread rapidly up the stairwell”, engulfing 27-year-old Ghanaian Samuel Y., who suffered “serious burns and smoke inhalation” and died the same day.

Peter S., 51, is also accused in 20 cases of attempted murder. Two residents suffered “broken bones” jumping from the windows of the house to escape the blaze. The remaining 18 reached safety via “fire escapes, windows and balconies”, the court said.

Twenty years old at the time of the incident, the accused was arrested in April 2022 and is currently in pre-trial detention. He rejects the accusations made against him.

The trial is set to start in November 16.