German court jails 'Afghan' asylum-seeker over murder of university student

Rape and murder of young woman sparks concerns over security and integration of German migrants

Defendant Hussein K (R) is led out of the court room after beeing sentenced for life imprisonment at the regional court in Freiburg, southern Germany, on March 22, 2018.
The asylum seeker claiming to be from Afghanistan was sentenced to life in jail for the rape and murder of a student that stoked public fears and a backlash against a mass influx of migrants. / AFP PHOTO / THOMAS KIENZLE / GERMAN COURT REQUESTS THAT THE FACES OF THE DEFENDANT AND OF JUDICIAL OFFICERS MUST BE MADE UNRECOGNISABLES

A migrant who raped and murdered a German university student was sentenced to life in prison on Thursday, raising security concerns about asylum-seekers in a country that has taken in more than one million migrants since 2015.

The man, identified as Hussein K. under reporting rules in Germany, was also sentenced to preventative detention by the Freiburg court, which means he will never walk free in public.

While the man claimed to be a 17-year-old Afghan asylum seeker, evidence emerged during the trial that suggested he may be from Iran and as old as 32, the BBC reported.

Prosecutors said Hussein K. pushed the woman off of her bicycle before he bit, choked, and raped her. She was reportedly left alive on the bank of a river and drowned.

Hussein K. was previously convicted of attempted murder in Greece in 2013 and sentenced to 10 years in jail, but fled to Germany when he was released on parole in 2015. A DNA test matched samples found near the site where a 19-year-old German girl was raped. She drowned in October 2016.

A German government-sponsored study released in January said violent crime increased by about 10 per cent in 2015 and 2016. More than 90 per cent of the rise was attributed to young male refugees, fuelling a political debate over the handling of the migrant crisis.

The right-wing Alternative for Germany party has capitalised on fears about security and the assimilation of migrants, winning third place in an election last September and becoming the official opposition in parliament.

Migrant crime, including sex attacks during New Year's Eve celebrations in Cologne, have boosted the far right in last year's election.