The 28-year-old man is accused of murdering 32-year-old Marwa al-Sherbini in addition to the attempted murder of her husband Elwi Ali Okaz on July 1, the prosecutor’s office announced on Friday.
Al-Sherbini had been in court to testify against the Russian-German man who was appealing a fine for calling her an Islamist and terrorist for wearing a headscarf during an argument at a children’s playground. The defendant, described by the public prosecutor’s office as a “fanatical xenophobe,” reportedly refused to respond to the murder charges before the custodial judge on Thursday.
His trial will begin this autumn at the latest.
Al-Sherbini’s husband sustained several stab wounds while trying to protect his wife, and was then shot in the leg by police officers who thought he was the attacker.
According to daily Dresdner Neueste Nachrichten on Friday, Okaz is recovering in a clinic and both the nation’s integration representative Maria Böhmer and the state of Saxony’s premier Stanislaw Tillich have visited.
Al-Sherbini’s killing, and the initial lukewarm reaction to it in Germany, was heavily criticised by the country’s Muslim community and across in the Middle East.
Thousands of mourners attended her funeral in Alexandria, Egypt, and many took her death as an illustration of latent racism or anti-Islamism in Europe.