Life in prison for Iraqi asylum seeker who decapitated lady in Finland

WAR CRIMES A 29 year old Iraqi man who came to Finland in 2015 as a false refugee has been sentenced to life in prison after decapitating a 54 year old Finnish lady in Pori. The man had been awarded asylum due to an organization claiming religious status attesting that he was a true christian. He and his victim had entered a pretend relationship and engagement a few months before he brutally murdered her.

According to the prosecutor, Alaa Kadhim Mahdi Albu-Salih had arrived at the apartment of the woman in order to kill her when she wanted to end the engagement. In the living room he had hit her with his fist or another blunt object repeatedly in the face. The woman had managed to get to her bed or had been taken there by him. In the bed he had stabbed and slashed at her with a large knife. Cuts on the arms of the body showed that the woman had tried to protect herself from the stabs, several of which had entered her vital organs. Then the Iraqi had cut the woman’s throat and decapitated her. The autopsy showed serious stabbing wounds all over the body of the victim, including her lungs and face. The details of the decapitation are too grim for Ålands Nyheter to print. According to the prosecutor, the main cause of death had been stabs to the chest.


Tried to clean up evidence

After the murder, Albu-Salih had tried to clean up his tracks by washing the floor and collecting a bunch of papers in the bed next to the body and lighting them on fire.  The fire had partly damaged the corpse, but then fizzled out by itself. The prosecutor described his crimes as especially brutal and cruel, against a defenseless victim.

Albu-Salih pleaded not guilty to all accusations and demanded for the court to throw out the case. He denied killing the woman or harming her. Instead he blamed another, unknown man, who according to him had remained in the apartment with the woman after he left. He didn’t think he had been treated fairly by the law.


Footprints and fingerprints found

About twenty witnesses testified in the district court and a large amount of evidence was introduced. The details from the testimonies and evidence are not clear from the written sentence. National media reports that Albu-Salih changed his story to the police several times and that no evidence had been found of another man being present at the time of the killing. Police investigators had found the footprints of Albu-Salih in the blood of the victim, after making forensic treatments of the floor that had been cleaned after the murder. Albu -Salihs fingerprints were found in the apartment as well, on the papers that had been used to try to start a fire.

The victim’s car had been stolen after the murder and parked next to a centre for asylum seekers. Investigators speculated that somebody might have driven the vehicle there in order to confuse police and put them on the wrong track. Albu-Salih was unable to identify to police which of the men in the asylum centre he blamed the murder on.


Granted asylum after ”converting” to christianity

Albu-Salih had lived in a pretense relationship with the 54 year old woman for some months and they had made their engagement three months before he murdered her. He had been granted asylum in Finland after converting to christianity, but the district court didn’t give his conversion any importance in the case against him. The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland is an organization claiming religious status in Finland, but their practices has been questioned by government immigration authorities when it comes to their attesting to the genuineness of asylum seekers’ conversions. According to the Finnish Immigration Service, the organization is systematically mass converting asylum seekers, a statement which has caused strong indignation from the organization, including from priestess Kaisa Huhtala, who herself claims to have converted over 1000 souls.

Before decapitating the woman, Albu-Salih had even made his candidacy in elections for being on the local chapter of the organization. The sister of the victim testified that his conversion to christianity had been pretend. A work colleague of the victim testified that the woman had feared the Iraqi man. A text message that the victim sent her colleague before being murdered read: ”At first I felt sexy with him, but now I am more unsure of the future.”

Alaa Kadhim Mahdi Albu-Salih, born 1990, was sentenced to life in prison for murder. He has to pay €70 000 in damages to the family of the victim.