german police
© Global Look Press / Karl-Josef Hildenbrand
An Afghan asylum seeker, who has been accused of repeatedly raping an 11-year-old girl in Germany, could be set free as his lawyer maintains the refugee was younger than 14 at the time of the incident and cannot be tried.

The Afghan teenager, identified only as Mansoor Q, is suspected of raping the German girl on several occasions in April and May 2018, together with other asylum seekers. According to the prosecution, Mansoor and an Iraqi, identified as Ali Bashar, who is also on trial over a separate rape and murder case, first assaulted the victim near a supermarket in Erbenheim, a borough of the west German city Wiesbaden.

It is alleged Mansoor Q. once again attacked and raped the same girl together with Bashar's underage brother in a wooded area in Wiesbaden soon after the first attack. According to the prosecution, the victim was also previously raped by Bashar, 22, in late April 2018, when he locked her in his room in an asylum shelter.

However the Afghan may avoid trial as his lawyer told the court he has evidence his client was under 14 - the age of criminal responsibility in Germany - at the time of the alleged attacks.

"There are some major doubts about his age: we have presented the documents that show Mansoor was actually under 14 years old at the time of the offense," lawyer Michael Harschneck said, as cited by the German Bild daily.

His argument was dismissed by the plaintiff's lawyer, Barbara Sauer-Kopic, who said the ID documents presented by the defense were unreliable as they "contradict one another." She claimed she had a "medicolegal age verification assessment that clearly shows Mansoor was at least 14 years old or maybe even older."

The legal proceedings against Mansoor are now expected to continue in early April. The German prosecutors demanded the process be held behind closed doors, citing a "special need for protection" of both the accused and his victim.

An open process "could put a stigma [on the accused] and negatively affect his ...development,"prosecutor Sabine Kolb-Schlotter said.

'Key witness'

Ironically, Mansoor is also a "key witness" in another high-profile rape and murder case, which rocked Germany back in 2018.

He helped the German police to find the remains of 14-year-old Susanna F. some twelve days after she went missing and reportedly gave them information about her suspected murderer - his "friend," Iraqi Ali Bashar.

Bashar was later detained in his homeland by Kurdish security forces after he allegedly attempted to flee Germany with his family.The Iraqi now faces three separate trials as he accused of killing Susanna F., a robbery at knifepoint, and of raping the 11-year-old.