A Somali national who launched into an indiscriminate stabbing frenzy in the Bavarian city of Würzburg last June, killing three women and injuring seven others, has been found not guilty of murder and will instead receive institutional mental health treatment rather than serve time in prison.
In a judgment handed down on Tuesday, the German court accepted the evidence of two independent reports that stated the assailant, Abdirahman Jibril A., was mentally ill and therefore not guilty of the heinous crime on June 25, 2021.
The court had heard how the migrant, who had lied about his age upon entry to Germany in 2015, had shouted “Allahu Akbar” before the stabbing spree with a kitchen knife, which killed women aged 24, 49, and 82 and injured two girls aged 11 and 16.
At the time of the stabbing, he lived in a homeless shelter and had resided in Würzburg since 2015.
Two weeks before the attack, he had been hospitalized in a mental institution after standing in the middle of a road forcing traffic to stop before entering a random car. A week later, he was detained after committing acts of violence in the city center.
His lawyer stressed during the trial in April that he regretted the suffering he had caused to the victims and survivors but had heard “voices in his head” telling him to attack.
“The accused selected the injured party arbitrarily,” the senior public prosecutor Judith Henkel said in her final statement on Monday. “It was his intention to kill as many people as possible,” she added.
In the court’s judgment on Tuesday, the presiding judge, Thomas Schuster, confirmed the assailant would not receive a custodial sentence for murder but would be indefinitely detained in a mental health institution following a diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia.
As long as the man’s illness persists and he is classified as dangerous, release is ruled out, Schuster confirmed.