The court proved that the pastor almost killed his 28-year-old wife in November 2016. He was sentenced to seven years' imprisonment for attempted killing, of which he served one year in custody and prematurely.
Because an attempted killing is a so-called "catalog deed", which entails an automatic deportation, the Eritrean Orthodox pastor is also to be expelled for 10 years of the country.
Whether this referral can be made at the time of release, however, is questionable. Switzerland currently has no readmission agreement with Eritrea, so that rejected refugees and convicted offenders can not be scrapped at all.
Kicked in the face
The attack happened when the man had to live temporarily with his aunt. The police had recently turned him away from the marital home for domestic violence. Because he wanted to see the children, he still visited his wife that day.
When she told him she had no choice but to marry him, he lost control. He put his hands around her neck and squeezed - so hard that even the day after that his thumb still hurt, as he stated in a first statement. After the woman lay unconscious on the ground, he kicked her face several times. After that he called the police himself.
Better to die than a breakup
At the police he said at first that he actually wanted to kill his wife and then himself: rather die together than a breakup. In later hearings and also in the trial on Monday, he only wanted or could remember the crime in part. He certainly did not want to kill her, he assured him.
The court did not believe him and largely followed the request of the prosecutor, who demanded an imprisonment of 8 years. It recognized a "classic killing intent". Slightly mitigating his initial confession seemed.
Lawyer demanded acquittal
The lawyer tried in vain to paint another picture of the pastor: his client was calm and prudent, a respected member of the Eritrean community.
He received many calls from Eritreans who could not believe that "their" pastor should have done such a thing, the lawyer said. The 32-year-old was a pastor for Eritrean Orthodox in the Zurich area and Schaffhausen, but lived from social assistance.
Aggressive in this household is rather the woman who provokes him again and again, the lawyer continues. "As a pastor who has lived in monasteries for a long time, my client does not understand himself to hurt anyone." He certainly did not have a killing intention. The lawyer unsuccessfully demanded an acquittal.
Wife takes blame
Visibly disturbed, the wife also provided information in this process - and was the main culprit in the domestic violence. She gets angry very fast and is often not nice to him. "I'm to blame, he's innocent." He never beat her. That's what she just told the police.
That he had strangled her, yes agree. But she provoked him too.Separation is out of the question for the women, who are obviously under pressure from their community. She would rather do therapy herself and work on her problems.
The pastor took note of the decision crying. Whether he moves on to the high court is still unclear.