Asylum seeker sentenced to 3 years for attempted manslaughter

Much heftier sentence than demanded for knife attack in Maastricht asylum seekers' centre: 'Incidents like this are to the detriment of asylum seekers who are of good will'. By Jeroen Geerts for De Limburger.

The 28-year-old asylum seeker who attacked 2 fellow occupants of the asylum seekers' centre in Maastricht with a knife in August 2021 has to serve 3 years in prison for attempted manslaughter. This sentence is considerably stiffer than the prosecution's demand. The court weighed in its verdict that this kind of incident is damaging to support for asylum reception.

The convicted man returned to the asylum seekers' centre on Parkweg in Maastricht in a drunken state on 21 August 2021, according to witnesses. He attracted attention from the courtyard with loud shouting, making insulting remarks about Kurds several times. When 2 inmates came outside to try to calm the man down, a struggle ensued during which the accused pulled a knife. One of the male inmates sustained minor injuries to his wrist as he tried to fend off the attack.

The public prosecutor (Openbaar Ministerie) demanded 7 months in prison for threat, assault and attempted infliction of grievous bodily harm. But in the end, the court saw things very differently: by grabbing one of the co-residents and making stabbing motions with the knife towards his upper body and head, the convicted was guilty of attempted manslaughter. According to the court, it is well known that the upper body and head are vulnerable parts where a stab wound can result in death. That the victim was not injured is only because the co-resident deftly managed to dodge the stabbing.

The convicted man was also found guilty of threatening and assault. In the verdict, the court stated that these kinds of incidents have a negative impact on public support for the reception of asylum seekers. 'This is at the expense of asylum seekers who are of good will.'

The case against the convicted man was heard in absentia. He failed to show up at the court in Maastricht a fortnight ago. It is not known where he is currently staying.

Read the original article (in Dutch) by Jeroen Geerts on the De Limburger website.