27 Oct 2009

Accused of killing pregnant Muslim woman in court

7:30 am on 27 October 2009

A man has gone on trial in Germany charged with stabbing to death a pregnant Egyptian woman in a courtroom - an attack that caused outrage in parts of the Muslim world.

The defendant, a a 29-year-old Russian-born German known as Alex W , is accused of stabbing Marwa al-Sherbini repeatedly with a knife he'd smuggled into the building in July.

He was there to appeal against a fine imposed for calling her a terrorist and an Islamist.

The head of Germany's Muslim Council, Ayyub Axel Koehler, says the trial is being followed very closely by the Muslim community.

The trial is taking place in the same Dresden courtroom where the stabbing took place, and security is tight. The defendant is accused of murder, attempted murder and dangerous bodily harm.