At the weekend, a series of fires kept the Hanseatic city of Greifswald on tenterhooks. The police were able to solve the case quickly. Even faster was Lord Mayor Stefan Fassbinder (54, Green Party). He had presumed xenophobic suspicions, which shortly afterwards proved to be completely false.
Last Saturday in Greifswald, a car had first burned and another vehicle was damaged. A note with a swastika painted on it hung on the windscreen. The owners of the vehicles: Syrians.
On Monday, two arbours blazed in the allotment “Am Kleinbahnhof”, not far from the first crime scene. The owners: two other Syrians (52, 56).
The arbours burned down. About 20 000 Euro damage. And: in both plots the Criminal Investigation Department also found pieces of paper with swastikas.
Right in the morning, Mayor Fassbinder took the floor: “I am appalled by this attack, which affects our entire cosmopolitan and tolerant city,” said the Green politician. Allotment gardens in particular are places of recreation, peace and integration. He said that the attack was politically motivated.
He should have waited for the investigations, because Fassbinder had already had to deny this in a press release in the evening: “As the Neubrandenburg police headquarters announced, the alleged lead was not confirmed. Instead, an Egyptian suspect had been investigated.
Indeed! A 42-year-old asylum seeker from Egypt, who has already been charged with robbery and assault several times since 2018, had set the fires. He was arrested in the allotment garden. According to police spokeswoman Claudia Tupeit, the State Security Service had found evidence in his case which substantiated the suspicion.
“We rule out any classification under the heading of right-wing violence,” Tupeit clarifies once again. The police spokeswoman is critical: The assumption made by the Lord Mayor was premature!
Because the Egyptian is said to be “psychologically conspicuous”, the public prosecutor’s office did not apply for an arrest warrant for the man, but for an accommodation warrant for a closed clinic.
The application was rejected on Tuesday evening by the judge responsible at the Greifswald District Court. “The suspect is thus once again at large”, according to the police. The public prosecutor’s office appealed against the decision on Wednesday.