He killed his wife in front of the daughters

By Til Biermann

At around 11:30 a.m. on October 22, the Georgian Edisher J. (51) killed his Ukrainian wife Olena († 44) in a refugee container in Alt-Hohenschönhausen. He stabbed Olena in the heart with a 11-inch IKEA knife. In front of their daughter Sarah* (6) and his stepdaughter Mala* (18).

That is undisputed, J. also admitted the act. However, he stated that he had no memory of it, he had “blacked out” during the process. In six days of negotiations, however, the Berlin District Court decided how this act should be punished. Now there was the verdict: the minimum sentence for manslaughter was five years.

The last day of negotiations

The last witness to take evidence on Wednesday was psychiatrist Christian Winterhalter (64). He had examined J. twice in May in the Tegel prison and came to the conclusion that “the camel’s back was overflowing” before the crime.

Background: Olena J. fled to Berlin with her daughters from Kharkiv in Ukraine after the Russian invasion. Edisher J. came from Georgia, where he had been when the war broke out, to take care of his father’s funeral.

The aid money paid out by the German state for the family ended up in Olena J’s account. As a refugee from Ukraine, unlike her Georgian husband, she was able to open one immediately.

In the three and a half months they spent together in Berlin, there were repeated arguments about this money. While she bought expensive clothes, she didn’t even give Edisher J. money for the hairdresser, he testified.

On the day of the crime, he had asked her to give him at least half of the 1,800 euros that the German state had transferred to her account for him – in order to return to Georgia with the money for a break in the relationship. When she refused, he committed the crime.

Psychiatrist Winterhalter said: “There is no evidence of previous psychiatric illnesses. After the fact, he committed a serious attempt at suicide while in custody. He was neither under the influence of alcohol nor drugs at the time of the crime.”

“He felt humiliated”

The psychiatrist then elaborated on what J. told him: “In Ukraine he earned $1,400 as a truck driver and his wife $150. He felt humiliated because Olena controlled everything in Germany. She called him ‘piderast’, which means ‘faggot’ in Russian. I see an affective initial situation, he saw no way out. I find his lack of memory of the crime understandable. I am firmly convinced that everyone has a limit, if you cross it, bad things will happen. From my point of view, however, the act was a singular event. ”So he does not assume that J. would kill again.

This was followed by the pleadings of the prosecutor, the co-plaintiff for stepdaughter M. and Edisher J.’s lawyer, Ehssan Khazaeli (34).

The prosecutor asked for ten years in prison. The reason: “He performed a targeted stab in the heart. It was a direct intent to kill, an unconditional will on the part of the accused to be destroyed. He had a vain reason for the act. I have doubts about his memory gaps. It’s not murder because greed played no part.”

Stepdaughter Mala’s representative for co-plaintiffs joined the prosecutor, saying: “It was about sloppiness with the result that the accused took the life of the injured party. It also severely affected the lives of the children. Olena was a woman full of life and he felt sorry for himself in Germany. The act is reprehensible and not an act of affect.”

“The war changed everything”

Edisher J’s attorney Ehssan Khazaeli then spoke about his view of the case. “The source of his pride was being a provider in Ukraine. The war changed everything. In Germany it wasn’t about spills. After the crime, the woman and children carried rows of branded clothes out of the container. Edisher J. had just two pants. He felt humiliated. The expert has positioned himself clearly. J. openly and honestly burst into tears here several times.”

The lawyer continues: “It was a stressful situation of three and a half months in the cramped container, then he lost control. His anger, disappointment, and desperation culminated in just one stab. I see manslaughter with a double penalty frame shift. Once because of the serious insults according to paragraph 213 and once because of the act in affect according to paragraph 49 of the penal code. I think four years and two months imprisonment is appropriate.”

Before the verdict, Judge Schertz (brother of star lawyer Christian Schertz) gave Edisher J. the opportunity for last words. Edisher J. stood up in his court cage, sobbing in Georgian, “I am guilty and I regret my actions!” He pulled a photo of his daughter Lana from his pocket and held it to the glass. “But if I don’t come out again for many years, she won’t recognize me.”

“Intellectually, he is rather simply knitted”

Judge Schertz justified his sentence of five years imprisonment as follows: “The act happened in extremely cramped containers. There is a role reversal. Olena has the money, he always has to ask her when he has an issue. He gets into an emotional situation, sees no way out, so we follow the expert. This expert is known to the court as an experienced expert and is very economical with such assessments. Edisher J. lost his nerve and committed the crime. Intellectually, he is rather simply knitted and saw no way out. Therefore, the range of penalties is reduced according to paragraph 213.

Edisher J. can be released in just under three years after serving two thirds of the sentence due to the pre-trial detention. All parties have the opportunity to apply for a revision within one week.

Lawyer Ehssan Khazaeli afterwards: “A fair and just verdict. I will not recommend the defendant to appeal.”

*Names changed