Directly from the dpa news channel
Stuttgart (dpa / lsw) – In the end, the doubts were too big: A 32-year-old from Freiburg was acquitted of the charge of planning an attack on the pre-Christmas ice rink in Karlsruhe. The man was sentenced to five and a half years in prison before the higher regional court in Stuttgart on Wednesday because, according to the State Security Senate, he belonged to the terrorist militia Islamic State (IS) and supported it. How long the German with Kurdish roots will be behind bars is still unclear. His three-year pre-trial detention and imprisonment in Iraq are still pending.
The case caused a stir in the winter of 2017: One year after the attack on the Berlin Christmas market with a total of twelve dead, the defendant is said to have considered driving a truck to the stands at the Karlsruhe ice rink and killing as many people as possible. However, the federal prosecutor’s office based its allegations essentially on the statements of a confidant who had connections to the man. “We cannot rely on his information,” said the judge. “Therefore the Senate cannot convince itself that the defendant planned an attack of any kind in Karlsruhe in December 2017.” There are no doubts about his IS membership and his propaganda in chat groups.
The federal prosecutor’s office had demanded a total of eight years and three months in prison, the defense had pleaded for release because of the long pre-trial detention.