In his plea, chief prosecutor Christopher Imig put it in a nutshell: "The story is quickly told, even if it was one of the most horrific crimes in the region in recent years." Shortly after the prosecutor's closing statement, the Detmold district court imposed the maximum sentence on the so-called ax murderer from Kalletal. It sentenced the 37-year-old to life imprisonment on Friday for murder and two counts of rape and determined the particular gravity of the guilt.
An early release from prison after 15 years is as good as impossible. The court has also ordered preventive detention, which means that the man should not be released so quickly even after he has served his sentence. More is not possible in German law.
According to the court, the accused had rammed an ax into the head of his ex-girlfriend's new partner (39) in June 2022 and thus murdered him while he was sleeping in bed with the woman. He then raped the woman multiple times. The woman's three- and six-year-old children slept next door, meanwhile.
Shortly after the Russian war of aggression broke out, the man who was sentenced fled with his girlfriend and her children from the Ukraine via Poland towards Germany. Shortly before the border, the 26-year-old learns that the 37-year-old killed a woman in Ukraine around ten years ago. The relationship breaks down. She falls in love with her escape helper from Rinteln in Lower Saxony, who got them an apartment and a job in Kalletal. The 39-year-old was then murdered in the community in the Lippe district in North Rhine-Westphalia.
The district court followed the prosecution's demands in its verdict on Friday. But not in all points. The regional court only sees the murder characteristic of insidiousness, not base motives.
"He created an extreme threat. It can't really be worse. The woman was scared to death for herself and her children," said presiding judge Karsten Niemeyer in the 30-minute statement. During the trial, the accused - a native of Azerbaijan - did not express his feelings. Therefore, there is little knowledge about his motive. "But he was furious with the victim because he had pushed him out of his role," said Niemeyer.
The court does not believe the 37-year-old that the sex with the woman after the crime was consensual and evaluates the statement as a protective claim. The woman described the rapes credibly and in great detail. "After such an act, consensual sex is completely unworldly," the court said.
Defender Johannes Salmen saw things differently in his plea. He expressed doubts about the credibility of the woman, who now lives in Ukraine again and who was included as a video witness in the proceedings.
With lowered eyes on the dock
The 37-year-old takes the verdict in the dock in a stooped position and looks down. In his last word he does not utter a word of regret. Not even in the direction of the joint plaintiff: the widow of the murdered escape helper lost her husband and the father of her children. At the same time, the 37-year-old describes the rape victim as a liar.
The verdict is not yet legally binding. The defense attorney announced revision, i.e. a review for legal errors, by the Federal Court of Justice (BGH). In his plea, Salmen expressed doubts as to whether the first judgment against his client around ten years ago in Ukraine was based on the rule of law. The presiding judge Niemeyer also conceded a question mark here. The court in Detmold could not assess that. After all, that was before the coup in Ukraine in 2014. The 37-year-old was convicted of killing a woman with an ax about ten years ago who wanted to break up with him.
Niemeyer justified the determination of the particular gravity of the guilt with the multiple rapes in June 2022, which directly followed the homicide. "This goes beyond a normal case."
The week-long flight of the now 37-year-old also caused a stir. Because he couldn't drive a car, he was stopped by the police and escaped. He then fled via Lower Saxony and Brandenburg in the direction of Poland. Because of his propensity for violence, the police had warned truck drivers in particular about him. Shortly before the border with Poland, special forces arrested him in Germany.