In Germany, a young man has been accused of a heinous crime. Mansoor Q. is an asylum seeker from Afghanistan and came to Germany to start his life over. At least that was what was claimed. However, while in the European country, Mansoor allegedly raped and attacked a young girl, whose age was well under the age of consent – she was 11-years-old when the alleged attack happened.
Now Mansoor’s attorneys are fighting back, claiming that he was only fourteen-years-old when the alleged attack occurred and therefore should not be tried as an adult. This means he could walk away free from the charges if his lawyers have their way with the German people.
Mansoor was one of two, along with Ali Bashar, a murder suspect originally from Iraq, who allegedly attacked the underage girl.
Because German law requires that an offender is at least fourteen years of age to be tried and convicted, Mansoor might walk away with only a slap on the wrist rather than prison time. Because his defense lawyers claim his age might have been below fourteen when the attack on the 11-year-old girl occurred, they’re trying to utilize the loophole in the system to get the man out of trouble.
The attorney defending Mansoor is Michael Harschneck. He appeared in court on behalf of his client and said that there were many “great uncertainties” concerning Mansoor’s age and if he reached the limit to be tried in Germany.
“We have presented documents from which it appears that Mansoor was not yet 14 at the time of the offense,” Harschneck said.
Although the defense spoke a lot about Mansoor’s alleged age and how he was not yet fourteen when the attack occurred, they have not yet spoken out to disprove the allegations. Before they get to that part of the trial, they want to see if they can get the whole conviction thrown out because of the age loophole.
In Germany, the age of criminal responsibility is fourteen, which is the same as China’s. In Britain, it is 10 and 13-years-old in France. In the United States, the federal minimum age of criminal responsibility is 11.
Besides allegedly being so young, Mansoor has also helped German prosecutors in a separate case. Because of Mansoor’s testimony, they have been able to arrest Bashar, who was accused of murdering a 14-year-old girl named Susanna Maria Feldman.
In this case, both men stand trial for raping the 11-year-old girl. They could spend many years behind bars if they are convicted.
After the murder of the 14-year-old Susanna, German police worked with Iraqi officials to bring Bashar back from northern Iraq so he could stand trial for murder in Germany. Bashar, 21, has been accused of raping and strangling the schoolgirl to death after he took her to a secluded wooded area near the refugee shelter last May 23 in Wiesbaden.
Bashar has also been charged with a robbery in a park, where he beat, strangled, and threatened to kill a man with a knife. He stole the man’s watch, phone, bag, and credit card in the process.
What do you think should happen in Mansoor’s case?