German court jails two illegal street racers for murder
February 27 2017 05:30 PM
Defendant Hamdi H (C) stands between his lawyers at the dictrict court in Berlin
Defendant Hamdi H (C) stands between his lawyers at the dictrict court in Berlin, on February 27, 2017. Defendants Hamdi H and Marvin N were punished with life sentences for killing a 69-year old while taking part in an illegal car race in the centre of Berlin.

AFP/Berlin

A German court on Monday convicted two illegal street racers who caused a deadly high-speed car crash of murder and handed them life prison terms in a landmark ruling.
Hamdi H. and Marvin N. were each sentenced to maximum jail terms after the prosecution sought a conviction of murder rather than manslaughter.
The prosecution argued that even if the men did not plan to kill anyone during their race on February 1, 2016, they had accepted the likelihood of deadly consequences.
The murder verdict means they will spend a minimum 15 years behind bars and came as Germany is seeking to toughen its laws against illegal street racing.
The pair were racing through western Berlin, running a series of red lights, when Hamdi H. crashed at 160 kilometres (100 miles) per hour into a jeep near the city's landmark KaDeWe shopping centre.
The 69-year-old driver of the jeep was killed on the spot.
The men's defence lawyers had pleaded for a manslaughter conviction for Hamdi H. and sought a lesser charge of endangering street traffic for Marvin N.
During the trial, a psychologist described one of the defendants as "extremely overly self-confident" and said he was determined to "win in order to boost his ego", reported national news agency DPA.
Germany's transport ministry is mulling making such races punishable by up to 10 years' prison rather than treating them as administrative offences carrying a fine and a temporary suspension of the driver's licence.
In addition, convicted persons would routinely have their driver's licence revoked and vehicles impounded.

Last updated: February 27 2017 05:56 PM


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