Prosecutors on Monday claimed that the identified suspects held for sexual assaults in Cologne’s New Year celebration were mostly refugees.
Around 73 were suspected to have been involved in the attacks – most of them are from North Africa. Three suspects have been arrested for being involved in the mass sex attack on women.
Cologne Prosecutor Ulrich Bremer said : “The overwhelming majority of persons fall into the general category of refugees.”
As per the legal probe, the suspects were – 30 Moroccan nationals, 27 Algerians, four Iraqis, three Germans, three Syrians, three Tunisians, and one each from Libya, Iran and Montenegro, according to a report by Yahoo News.
“They have various legal statuses, including illegal entry, asylum-seekers and asylum applicants. That covers the overwhelming majority of suspects.” Bremer said.
Twelve of those suspects have already been accused for sexual crimes. One of the Moroccon asylum seeker, who entered Germany in November last year, is already in custody.
The crime perpetrated on New Year’s eve questioned Angela Merkel’s open door policy of refugees and the ability of German authorities to manage 1.1 million people who sought asylum there last year.
German authorities and the media were accused of covering up the Cologne attacks for concealing the ethnicity of the perpetrators. The police authorities faced public backlash for acting so late after the attacks happened. Police took four hours to act on 200 cases reported during the celebration.
Most of the media outlets were covering on the basis that “refugees only belonged to Iraq and Syria”.
Last month, Cologne in Germany witnessed a huge row of complaints related to sexual assaults. There have been lot of criticism on the New Year’s Eve incidents. A number of women alleged that asylum seekers sexually assault them.
Following the New Year’s celebration, around 1075 complaints were registered, including more than 400 cases of sexual crimes – from rape to insult.
The increasing number of rape cases has forced Merkel to deport thousands of failed asylum seekers. The decision came after police reported around 22 cases of rape including the case of the Belgian TV reporter who was assaulted live on air.