Palestinian Iyad Bayatneh (right) who is suspected of killing a German, and Haitham Ahmad and.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Syrian refugee Mohammed Omran Albakr persuaded his Palestinian accomplice Iyad Bayatneh to murder a German millionaire because he was allegedly Jewish. The dramatic development was reported on Thursday by the local newspaper Schwarzwälder Bote.
The 57-year-old victim Michael Riecher, a real estate investor who was in fact not Jewish, was found strangled in his home in November.
According to the report, 28-year-old Albakr told a number of acquaintances that he was seeking help to rob Riecher, who reportedly held gold and €250,000 in a safe.
A Lebanese-born Palestinian named Haitham Ahmad provided the eye popping testimony about Albakr and the 31-year-old Bayatneh. Ahmad, who works as a barber, said he recommended Bayatneh to Albakr because Bayatneh has a “strong heart.”
According to Ahmad, who used an alias during his testimony, Albakr told Bayatneh that “the man who will be attacked is a Jew” and Bayatneh responded with “the Jews destroyed my country.” Albakr then said that “Riecher has no one. We have the right to take the money away from him,” according to Ahmad.
Reporter Jürgen Lück, who broke the story about the deadly role of antisemitism as a murder motive, said that antisemitism watchdog organization Recherchestelle Antisemitismus contacted him on Thursday.
After reports in Schwarzwälder Bote and The Jerusalem Post, Germany’s top-selling paper Bild titled its Friday story: “Millionaire murdered because perpetrator considered him Jew?” The next court session is in early July.
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