German who set fire to asylum seekers home given suspended sentence

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Luebeck () – A German court in Luebeck (Germany), on Monday gave a man suspended sentence two years for committing an arson on a building intended to asylum seekers.

The 39-year old had told the court that he had set fire to the unoccupied building in a small town outside Hamburg, on Feb. 9, to protect his family from the six Iraqi men that were supposed to take residence there a day later.

Presiding judge, Helga Lukowicz, said in her ruling that even though the defendant had apologised for his crime during the trial, but the court had not found it convincing.

“He never said one word about being sorry for the refugees, he’s only sorry for himself’’, she said.

Lukowicz said the judges “did not believe” he had set the fire spontaneously.
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Defence lawyers had argued for leniency in the sentencing, saying that the arson had not been planned in advance and that it was only a spur-of-the-moment act.

He said his client, who works for the local tax office, said authorities had failed to properly notify neighbours of the new refugee home.

The building was rendered unusable after the fire.

Germany has seen a rise in arson attacks on asylum seekers’ homes.

There were 175 racially motivated attacks in Germany in 2014, compared to 58 the year before. (dpa/NAN)