Jennifer W. in court: guilty of aiding and abetting attempted murder
Photo: Sven Hoppe / dpa
"This is a victory for us," says defense attorney Ali Aydin on the forecourt of the Munich Higher Regional Court.
“The Senate has clearly rejected the delusion of the federal prosecutor's office about a life sentence.
That can only make us happy. "But he also emphasizes:" Nobody overlooks the suffering that IS inflicted on the Yazidis. "
Shortly before, the 8th Criminal Senate sentenced Jennifer W. to a total imprisonment of ten years.
The 30-year-old woman from Lohne in Lower Saxony has been guilty of IS membership and an attempted war crime, among other things, and has committed crimes against humanity.
She has enslaved a Yazidi woman and her child.
The child died.
The Senate regards the fact that Jennifer W. did not help the girl, although she recognized the danger to her life, as an accessory to the attempted murder.
The chairman Reinhold Baier speaks for a good hour.
He mentions the suffering IS inflicted on the Yazidis.
Thousands of Yazidi men were killed, thousands of Yazidi women and girls abducted and sold as slaves.
Including the joint plaintiff Nora T. and her daughter Reda.
"The accused knew the facts," says the presiding judge.
Jennifer W. knew what IS was doing to the Yazidis.
Nevertheless, at the end of 2014 she set out for the self-proclaimed »Islamic State«.
She met Taha A. in an IS women's shelter.
In June 2015, the two married under Islamic law and moved into a house in Fallujah, Iraq.
According to the conviction of the court, the IS man had already bought the Yezidi and her child as slaves.
Nora T. had to be of service to the couple, to do the housework.
Her daughter Reda became Rania because Taha A. thought Reda was the name of an unbeliever.
Judge Baier outlines a martyrdom.
Nora T. was beaten almost every day.
Her child was also mistreated.
For example when Jennifer W. complained to Taha A. that it was too wild or that she cried.
Coroner spoke of a kind of crucifixion
On a hot summer day in 2015, Taha A. tied the girl to a window grille in the courtyard of her house as a punishment.
The child had gone to bed.
Now it was fixed with the face to the sun, the arms above the head, Reda's feet were floating in the air.
Fallujah was at least 45 degrees Celsius.
A forensic doctor had spoken of a kind of crucifixion during the trial.
"The defendant did nothing to free the child, although that was possible and reasonable for her," says the judge.
And although Jennifer W. realized, according to the conviction of the court, that Reda's life was in danger.
According to her own statements, Jennifer W. feared the anger of Taha A. if she had intervened.
When the Islamist freed the child, whether it was either already dead or "irretrievably unconscious," the court found.
At the latest in the hospital it died.
On the same or the following day, Jennifer W. held a pistol to the desperate mother's head and threatened to shoot her if she didn't stop crying.
In February 2016, Jennifer W. returned to Germany pregnant.
Their daughter was born in April 2016.
She still hadn't had enough of the "Islamic State".
"She felt at home with the IS," says the judge.
After two years in Lohne, Jennifer W. tried to travel to IS again, this time with her two-year-old daughter.
In June 2018, she got into the car of a supposedly like-minded person who was actually an FBI informant.
She was arrested in Bavaria.
It was Jennifer W. herself who reported in internet chats in 2017 that "a little slave" had died because of her husband.
And in 2018, she also told the FBI informant about the five-year-old girl who had tied her husband at around 50 degrees Celsius and who then died.
Nora T., the mother, also spoke in 2017, a few days after her release from IS captivity, and again in 2018 of the death of her daughter in the heat of Iraq.
She also testified several times in court.
The child's body was never found.
But the Senate believes that it is impossible for Jennifer W. and Nora T. to have come up with such a story independently of one another.
"A very strong signal"
In favor of the accused, the court judged that it was not she, but Taha A. who bought mother and child as slaves. And Jennifer W. couldn't easily defy her husband's will in the house either. Taha A. currently has to answer in a separate process in Frankfurt am Main.
"Such a procedure is not about victory and defeat," says Federal Prosecutor Claudia Gorf after the verdict. "That the Senate found today that the defendant is responsible for the death of a five-year-old child many years ago in a distant civil war country, that is what matters." Many would have doubted that such an act could still be solved. That it is so is "a very strong signal." The federal prosecutor had demanded a life sentence for Jennifer W. Nevertheless, Gorf is satisfied with the verdict. "The Senate followed us on all essential points in its guilty verdict."
Natalie von Wistinghausen represents the mother of the dead girl, Nora T. The verdict is "of great importance for Yezidi society," says the lawyer.
No judgment in the world brings Nora T. back her daughter.
But: "It gives her a certain satisfaction to know who is jointly responsible for the death of her daughter." Nora T. herself did not want to comment on the verdict.
But she sat in the hall and heard for herself that the court believed her words.