A man suspected of pushing a 34-year-old woman in front of a moving train and killing her went on trial in the western German city of Duisburg on Thursday.

The 28-year-old suspect, a member of Germany’s Slavic-speaking Sorb ethnic group, is not facing regular charges but instead could be indefinitely committed to psychiatric care, due to mental illness on grounds of murder.

The victim was killed instantly after being struck by the train at a railway station in the town of Voerde in July 2019.


According to the indictment, the woman was taken by surprise. The suspect is said to have been driven by the desire to see someone dying.

The Duisburg district court has scheduled four hearings for the trial, which is to end on January 31.

The killing was one of two seemingly random acts of violence on German train platforms to shock the country in July 2019.

Less than two weeks after the Voerde attack, an 8-year-old boy was killed when a man pushed him and his mother into the path of an oncoming train at Frankfurt’s main train station.

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