After an African migrant escaped from a psychiatric hospital in the German city of Wiesloch and killed a 30-year-old saleswoman, he will again avoid jail time. Instead, he is being sent back to the same psychiatric clinic he just escaped from, and the Green party is now being blamed for the incident
The 33-year-old suspect, Ahmad M., who came to Germany as an asylum seeker, was attending a “work therapy” session, which is offered by the Nordbaden Psychiatric Center. Despite his violent history, he was permitted to work at an unspecified location due to “progress” doctors said he had made in his psychiatric condition. While working there, he escaped the location and ran into downtown Wiesloch. Although accompanied by psychiatric staff, they lost sight of the man, who then proceeded to find a target he picked at random.
At 1:00 p.m., he stabbed Lisa S. to death while she was working inside the TEDi discount store located inside the “Kubus am Adenauer” shopping center. Police say he stole a knife from a bakery, which he then used to kill Lisa S.
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The man is well known by police and has been declared “incompetent” to stand trial despite assaults and other arrests. The police arrested Ahmad N. shortly after the murder and took him into custody “under threat of using firearms,” according to a police statement.
Despite a district judge recognizing that Ahmad M. had just murdered Lisa S. in broad daylight, the judge said the man could not be tried because of his mental illness. Ahmad M. was therefore once again sent back to the same psychiatric clinic he had just escaped from.
A pattern of ‘mental illness’
The anti-immigration Alternative for Germany (AfD) says the case fits a pattern of mental illness being used as an excuse to shield migrants and foreigners from criminal accountability.
“Once again we are witnessing a terrible murder case, the background to which is concealed and trivialized: The 33-year-old African ‘refugee’ Ahmad N. apparently stabbed a 30-year-old saleswoman at random on Friday. She died. Doctors previously certified that the violent criminal, who was known to the police, had made ‘treatment progress,’ which is why he was allowed to leave his psychiatric clinic under supervision,” wrote the party in a statement.
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The party further wrote: “We are tired of criminal cases like this being explained by mental illness. We are fed up with no action being taken. Anyone who picks up a knife in our country must be deported immediately.”
The case follows a long-standing pattern of mental illness allowing foreigners to escape prison and instead enjoy psychiatric facilities, which often feature far better living conditions. Last month, a judge determined that 34-year-old Berhan S. would serve no prison time after stabbing two girls, both aged 8, inside the Protestant school in the multicultural Berlin neighborhood of Neukölln. Instead, the courts have ruled that due to “mental illness,” he cannot be held responsible for the stabbing case, in which the two 8-year-old girls nearly lost their lives after suffering multiple wounds to their necks and chests.
German courts have a long history of throwing out high-profile cases due to psychiatric concerns. In Berlin in 2021, an Islamic radical was found ineligible to stand trial despite running over motorcyclists and praying to Allah after his crimes. In 2020, a Somali migrant who murdered three women in a knife attack in Würzburg never stood trial after he was committed to a psychiatric ward, and an Eritrean migrant who pushed an 8-year-old boy to his death on train tracks in Frankfurt in 2020 also avoided jail for the same reason.
Green party to blame?
The normally peaceful city, which is located 13 kilometers from the larger city of Heidelberg in the state of Baden-Württemberg, saw many of its 26,000 residents come to lay flowers and candles at the site of the murder.
The state social minister, Manfred Lucha, of the Green party, is being lambasted by critics. Lucha is responsible for the state’s mental institutions, but there is an incredible lack of funding and lax security. Furthermore, many patients are used as employees for firms, such as in the case of Ahmad M., giving them the opportunity to interact with the public.
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Even the Social Democrats (SPD), which are often allied with the Greens, voiced criticism about the murder.
There is a “massive shortage of staff and space,” said Baden-Württemberg SPD MP Florian Wahl, with Wahl making serious allegations that Lucha is failing to ensure the proper running of the state’s psychiatric system. The SPD is now calling for a special session in the state parliament to ensure proper measures are enforced.
The AfD contends the issue goes far deeper, stating that the prison and mental health system across the state is considered unacceptable for employees to work in, leading to a staff shortage. In a statement, the AfD described “scandalous underfunding of the enforcement of measures.”