Pleas in the process of infanticide in a sect in Hanau

Pleas in the process of infanticide in a sect in Hanau

Im trial for the death of a little boy in a cult in Hanau in the 1980s, the pleadings were held on Thursday. The public prosecutor’s office has demanded a life sentence for the mother of the child who was killed, and the defense an acquittal of murder.

The then four-year-old boy had been tied up in a sack for a nap on a warm day in August 1988. The bag sewn from bed sheets was pulled over the child’s head. Carbon dioxide from the air he breathed collected in the sack, from which the boy became unconscious, as a forensic pathologist had explained in an earlier session. Eventually, the child choked on his vomit. Before his nap he had been fed oatmeal.

That the boy died in this way is not disputed. At its end, the trial revolves around the question of who forced the child into the sack: his mother or someone else from the home where the child died. As several witnesses testified in the trial, which began about a year ago, the lady of the household in Hanau’s Weststadt was the leader of a religious group to which the accused Claudia H. and her husband belonged. In the summer of 1988, the couple lived with their son Jan in Sylvia D.’s house; Claudia H. regularly left her child to the leader for care.

Defense attorney speaks of “judicial tragedy”

According to the statements, the interpretation of dreams played an important role in the community in order to fathom the will of God. The leader, Sylvia D., interpreted the dreams of the followers and ruled over them like a cult, according to former members at the trial, including two of the leader’s sons who broke away from her as adults. According to the witnesses, the cult leader repeatedly berated the little boy, claiming that he was possessed by dark forces and that he was a reincarnation of Adolf Hitler. She also repeatedly claimed that God would soon take the child to himself. Two years ago, the district court in Hanau sentenced the leader to life imprisonment for murder. The judges are convinced that the child had been forced into the sack on her orders, and she was the only adult in the house when he died. The verdict is not final because the Federal Court of Justice has ordered a new hearing.

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