German police search for two further suspects in Freiburg gang rape case

BERLIN, Nov. 2 (Xinhua) — German security authorities are still looking for further two suspects in connection to the alleged gang rape of an 18-year-old student in Freiburg, Bernd Belle of the Freiburg Criminal Police Office told press on Friday.

According to Belle, investigations into the widely-publicized case had produced several DNA samples which did not belong to any of the eight suspects which have been remanded in custody so far. “As a consequence, we must assume that there are two additional suspects”, he said.

State prosecutors believe that the victim was raped by several men after leaving a discotheque in mid-October. Seven of suspects who have since been arrested are Syrian nationals aged between 19 and 29 years, while one of the individuals is a 25-year-old German citizen.

The 22-year-old primary suspect supposedly left the club with the student and sexually assaulted her first in nearby bush before inviting other men to join. An “Investigatory Commission Club” led by Belle, has been specially-established to shed light on the case in cooperation with the Stuttgart Regional Criminal Police Office.

In the meanwhile, Belle revealed on Friday that the primary suspect was a multiple-offender who was wanted by police for previous offenses physical assault, sexual assault and drug dealing. An arrest warrant was issued on October 10, several days before the incident took place.

Belle explained that the decision of security officers to hesitate in arresting the suspect owed to a lack of adequate staffing levels “to strike immediately.” Police originally planned to intervene on October 23 after securing further evidence in relation to allegations of drug-dealing. “Then we were overtaken by events”, Belle added.

Of the seven other suspects, only two had not come into any recorded conflicts with the law prior to their recent arrest. Belle said that the victim was receiving intensive psychological and medical care and appeared “stable” but had described feeling burdened by the large amount of media attention which her case has received.

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