German man goes on trial for double child murder
14 June 2016, 16:16
Berlin – A German security guard went on trial on Tuesday accused
of murdering two children, one of them a four-year-old Bosnian boy snatched
from a crowded migrant registration centre last year.
The trial of Silvio Schulz, 33, started under tight security in a
court in Potsdam near Berlin after news of the killings shocked the country
Schulz is accused of kidnapping the children – four-year-old
Mohamed from Bosnia, and German boy Elias, aged six – in order to sexually
abuse them, then killing them to avoid being identified and caught.
The hand-cuffed defendant wearing a hooded jumper covered his face
with a paper folder when he entered the courtroom on Tuesday, as bereaved
victims' relatives looked on.
He faces life in prison if found guilty.
Schulz was arrested in late October after his mother identified
him from security camera images published by police.
Police said he admitted to abducting and abusing Mohamed before
strangling him to death with a belt and also confessed to the murder of Elias.
Prosecutors say Schulz abducted Elias from a Potsdam playground in
July 2015 before strangling to death the screaming child and burying his body
in a rented garden plot.
In early October he kidnapped Mohamed from the crowded and chaotic
area outside Berlin's Lageso registration centre for asylum seekers.
The Lageso office was overwhelmed by record numbers of migrants as
Germany took in more than one million asylum seekers last year.
As migrant families slept outside Lageso in the dust, and
frustrated refugees sometimes brawled as they waited for days for an appointment,
parliamentary vice president Claudia Roth condemned the conditions there as
"shocking and unworthy of a democratic society".