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Only 18 convictions in Cologne mass sex attacks a year later

The lack of follow-through by German authorities a year later after the Cologne mass sex attacks, is disturbing.

Published: December 31, 2016, 9:03 am

    The mass sex attacks in the centre of the German city Cologne on New Year’s Eve 2015, not only shocked the world, but the cover-up and lack of follow-through by German authorities are equally disturbing.

    Now, a year later, after more than 1 000 criminal charges were filed, most of the chilling crimes have not been punished either. As of December, the statistics show that 1 222 criminal charges have been investigated by the authorities, of which some 513 were directly related to sexual assault, Breitbart reported, with very few convictions.

    The total number of final convictions for the over one thousand attacks stands at just 18. Out of the 18 convictions, only five sexual assaults have led to pronouncements of guilt. On top of that, one of those five migrants convicted for sex assaults was given a suspended sentence and laughed in court while the judge was sentencing him.

    A police spokesman however told The Telegraph that at least three quarters of the complaints had a sexual component.

    To break down the figures: A total of 1 310 individuals had been victims of crime on that night in Cologne. Among them, 662 said they were sexually attacked and 28 said they were raped, according to Breitbart London.

    Following investigations, police have managed to identify 333 suspects and of those 87 are said to have committed sexual offences, but have have only been able to track down 35 migrants to court – of those, only 24 were found guilty of crimes.

    But because several cases are now on appeal, the total number of final convictions for the over one thousand attacks stands at just 18.

    The government had told the police to cover up the extent of the assaults and not mention that the attackers were migrants. Only six months later, authorities finally admitted the attackers came largely from the Middle East and North Africa.

    Correspondents say the identification of the attackers as North African or Arab in appearance had caused alarm in Germany because of the influx of more than a million migrants and refugees in the past year.

    Some 820 investigations are still being pursued by police but many have been shelved because the authorities “have not been able to find or identify those responsible” for the crimes they told Breitbart.

    The assaults in Cologne appeared similar to incidents that have been reported over the past two years in Duesseldorf, and on the same night in Hamburg as well as Stuttgart, where gangs identified as North African have groped women and distracted them before also stealing their belongings.

    karin@praag.org

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