The perpetrator could still not be questioned

The 24-year-old Somali, who killed three women with a knife in downtown Würzburg at the end of June and injured several people, some seriously, has still not been questioned. This was confirmed by Klaus Ruhland, spokesman for the Munich Public Prosecutor’s Office, on Thursday at the request of this editorial team.

Public defender Hanjo Schrepfer recently stated that his client has not yet commented on his unstable state of health. According to Schrepfer’s impression, this has not improved significantly.

According to research by this editorial team, the 24-year-old perpetrator was addicted to drugs, had delusional disorders and had been to psychiatry five times in the past three years, most recently in Würzburg in mid-June – shortly before the crime. In July he was transferred from prison to a psychiatric hospital outside of Lower Franconia.

No new evidence of an Islamist motive

According to Ruhland, there is also “a significant mental illness” of the 24-year-old in the room. This could lead to experts coming to the conclusion that the perpetrator may be incapable of guilt, or at least be of limited culpability. The corresponding reports are still pending.

In the meantime, the question arises whether the crime was motivated by Islamists. Shortly after the knife attack, investigators described an Islamist background as obvious. Bavaria’s Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann (CSU) spoke of a “blatant suspicion”.

This was based on testimony according to which the Somali should have shouted “Allahu akbar” (“God is great”) during his act. After his arrest, he is said to have spoken of his contribution to “jihad”, which can be translated as “holy war”, among other things. “In the meantime, there have been no further indications of an extremist background,” the Public Prosecutor General said.

Interior Minister Herrmann: psychological problems or religious convictions

When asked whether he still considered an Islamist background to be plausible, Interior Minister Herrmann told this editorial office: In the course of the investigation, “it will still have to be clarified whether the Islamist exclamations confirmed by witnesses can be attributed to religious convictions or psychological problems”.

The investigation of the 130-strong “Main” special commission should be completed by autumn.

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