A third Afghan brother facing trial like his two siblings in the gruesome suitcase killers case has hanged himself in his prison cell.
Jamal H., 29, is believed to have killed himself in his cell in Ploetzensee Prison, Berlin, Germany in the early hours of 21st October.
Prison officers found his body several hours later.
Jamal H. was being investigated for his role in the grim killing of the three brothers’ 34-year-old sister, Maryam H., for ‘leaving Islam’.
Police believe he may have ordered his younger brothers to kill her for shaming the family.
Jamal H. had started a five-year prison sentence for aggravated assault in 2020 after stabbing a man in a public square, seriously injuring him.
The murder case last hit headlines on 7th September, when Yousuf Sayed H., 27, surprised the district court in Berlin by claiming that he had ‘accidentally’ killed his sister in a rage.
He and co-defendant Mahdi Seyed H., 23, had been exercising their right to remain silent during the previous 29 days of the trial.
Yousuf Sayed H. told how, out of anger, he had strangled his sister until she died in Mahdi Seyed H.’s apartment in Berlin on 13th July last year.
But the Afghan claimed to the court that he had not intended to kill the mother of two.
Yousuf Sayed H. told the court: “She was angry with our parents, she used bad words that made me angry. I found that disrespectful.”
He told how he had put his hand over her mouth, grabbed her shoulders, “fought” her, and finally put her head under his arm.
He also told how, in a rage, he had squeezed his sister’s neck tightly for one to two minutes until her body became heavy and she collapsed to the ground.
But he claimed to the court: “I thought she had passed out. I didn’t want to kill her.”
Yousuf Sayed H. recounted how his sister had failed to start breathing or moving again, telling the court: “Then I realised she had died.”
He then told how he had later chopped her up with a knife, wrapped her body parts in duct tape, and stashed them into a new suitcase.
He claimed in his confession that his brother was blameless, telling the court that Mahdi Seyed H. had entered the room just after the killing and asked what was going on.
Yousuf Sayed H. told the court: “Mahdi wanted to call a doctor.”
But he claimed he had then threatened his brother against seeking help.
The brothers are alleged to have killed Maryam because she had shamed her family’s ‘honour’.
She had divorced her abusive husband, whom she had been forced to marry aged just 16, and had met another man in the German capital.
She had also enjoyed the western lifestyle, with earlier reports telling how she had ditched her headscarf.
Her brothers had been hounding her weeks before the killing and had forbidden her from meeting other men, the court was told.
They had quickly turned violent towards her, as confirmed by witnesses – including Maryam’s 14-year-old son and 10-year-old daughter – during the trial.
CCTV footage showed how Yousuf Sayed H. and Mahdi Seyed H. had transported a suitcase apparently stuffed with their sister’s butchered remains at Suedkreuz train station.
Following their arrest, they had denied having anything to do with their sister’s death to police.
But Yousuf Sayed H.’s partner, who lives in Bavaria, led investigators to the exact spot where Maryam’s remains had been buried.
No traces of blood were found in Mahdi Seyed H.’s apartment, but his DNA was found in the shallow grave.
The knife used to chop the victim up – which the brothers had allegedly thrown in a bin – was never recovered.
Maryam’s remains were found on 5th August. Three days later, Yousuf Sayed H. visited Jamal H. in prison, where they hugged and cried, according to a worker.
According to earlier reports, a decision on the murder trial is expected on 12th December.