German man on trial for New Year car rampage that injured 14

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

BERLIN (AP) — A German man has gone on trial accused of attempted murder for driving his car into crowds on New Year’s Day, injuring 14 people.

Prosecutors accuse the 50-year-old defendant of intentionally targeting people he believed to be foreigners. A 46-year-old Syrian woman received life-threatening injuries in the rampage.

But lawyers for the man, whose name wasn’t released for privacy reasons, told the Essen regional court Friday that their client suffered from paranoid schizophrenia and believed the people he drove into were about to carry out an attack.

Due to the man’s mental illness it’s likely he wouldn’t face prison if convicted, but judges could instead order him held in a secure psychiatric ward indefinitely.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.