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German court rules on deportation for Tugce Albayrak's attacker

An administrative court in the state of Hesse has ruled that the man found guilty of Tugce Albayrak's deadly assault in 2014 can be deported to his native Serbia. Albayrak's death caused shock and horror across Germany.

The Hessian Administrative Court on Tuesday approved the deportation of Sanel M., the man found guilty in the tragic death of Tugce Albayrak in 2014.

The court ruled that M. can be immediately deported.  The decision would lie with the city and district court in Wiesbaden, where he is currently detained, on whether he will see out the rest of his three-year sentence or be deported sooner, the judge said.

Sanel M. was convicted in 2015 for causing grievous bodily harm with fatal consequences after he hit Albayrak, aged 22, in a McDonald's parking lot in Offenbach. Albayrak came to the defense of two teenage girls being harassed by M., after which he struck her. 

The blow caused her to fall and hit her head on the asphalt. This impact is thought to have caused her eventually-fatal brain hemorrhage. M. had just turned 18 when the incident occurred. He avoided a longer sentence after the judge ruled that he never intended to kill Albayrak.

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The immigration authority in Wiesbaden had ordered his deportation last year, adding M. should be expelled from Germany for eight years. M. and his defense swiftly appealed the order. However, the judge on Tuesday declared that the Serbian national would continue to pose a public threat on his release, based on his aggressive and violent tendencies while in detention.

M. is single, without children and, according to the judge, with little to no prospect of finding work, offering little reason for him to remain in Germany. He would therefore be able to integrate just as well in Serbia as he would in Germany, the judge added.

A nation in mourning

Albayrak lingered in a coma for two weeks after she was hit by M and died after her parents took her off life-support on her 23rd birthday.

The case led to an outpouring of grief across Germany, with people holding candlelight vigils and rallies outside her hospital.

Thousands also turned up at Albayrak's funeral to honor and remember her. German President Joachim Gauck sent a letter to Albayrak's family expressing his condolences: "Out whole country is mourning with you."

Politicians in Turkey, Albayrak's country of origin, also mourned her death, with then-Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc praising her "great heroism" and "place in the hearts of the German public."

dm/jm (dpa, AFP, epd)

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