A 46-year-old Moroccan asylum seeker has been sentenced to 13 years in prison in Vienna for the attempted murder of his roommate at an asylum centre in Simmering.
In his defence the man said that he thought the 27-year-old Syrian man and a group of other men were planning to rape him.
He told the jury that he had been sexually abused by two men the day before in an apartment in Ottakring. He went to a hospital after the alleged attack but doctors could find no evidence that he had been raped. After being released from hospital and giving a statement to the police he returned to his accommodation and stabbed his sleeping roommate with an ornamental 8cm-long knife that was hanging on the wall.
However, the judge said that the real reason for the attack last September was the fact that the Moroccan man was claiming to be a Syrian refugee and that he was afraid the younger man would betray his real origins. He had travelled to Austria through Italy, using false identity documents, but the Syrian refugees at the asylum centre soon realised he was Moroccan because of the Arabic dialect he spoke.
The Moroccan stabbed the younger man so violently that he ripped open his abdomen and injured his liver. He also broke one of this ribs and severed a thoracic artery. If the 27-year-old had not screamed loudly for help, doctors said he would not have survived the attack.
The Syrian man told the jury that he has had problems sleeping since the attack and still has pain in his liver. He worked as a coffee-roaster in his homeland and had found a job as a waiter in Vienna.
He said he couldn’t understand why the man attacked him and that he had always supported and helped him. “He still owes me €500,” he said. “One day he came to the kitchen with a copy of the Koran and asked us to swear on it that we would not cooperate with the Austrian authorities and would not betray him,” he added.
The Moroccan also fought with fellow inmates whilst in police custody and accused them of wanting to rape him, the prosecutor said.