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Slaying of Egyptian in court described

Guards brought defendant Alexander W. into the courtroom yesterday in Dresden, Germany, for his trial in the killing of a pregnant Egyptian woman in July in the same courtroom. Guards brought defendant Alexander W. into the courtroom yesterday in Dresden, Germany, for his trial in the killing of a pregnant Egyptian woman in July in the same courtroom. (Matthias Rietschel/ Reuters)
Associated Press / October 27, 2009

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DRESDEN, Germany - The husband of a pregnant Egyptian woman knifed to death in a German courtroom testified yesterday that the alleged attacker continued stabbing his wife even after she was on the floor.

The suspect, 29-year-old Alexander W., arrived for his trial in the same courtroom with his face concealed beneath a hood, hat, sunglasses, and a mask.

He faces charges of murder, attempted murder, and dangerous bodily harm for the July slaying of 31-year-old Marwa al-Sherbini. As in all criminal cases in Germany, surnames are withheld by the court unless the defendant is convicted.

The attack has outraged Muslims, who called it evidence of Islamophobia in Europe.

On the trial’s opening day, Sherbini’s husband, Elwy Ali Okaz, described the attack, in which he also was injured trying to protect his wife. The suspect “still stabbed her when she was already lying on the floor,’’ Okaz said in Arabic, identifying Alexander W. as the attacker.

About 200 police officers secured the courthouse amid fears of a revenge attack.

Sherbini was killed while giving court evidence against a Russian-born attacker who was convicted of defamation for having called her a terrorist and Islamist during an altercation.