On November 22, the Joint Jury Court of Athens handed down a life sentence to a 23-year-old Pakistani asylum seeker convicted of murdering his Greek girlfriend in 2022. Munasif Ashan, the convict, admitted to the court that he took the life of his 17-year-old girlfriend, stating that he did so because she had “insulted Prophet Muhammad.”
In response to the verdict, the grieving family of the young victim confronted the murderer in the courtroom, expressing their anguish. They reportedly shouted at him and even attempted to physically confront him. The father of 17-year-old Nicoletta, who was found dead in her residence in the Peristeri neighborhood of western Athens, had urged the court to impose the death penalty as a just punishment for the perpetrator of his daughter’s killing.
The unanimous ruling declared the Pakistani defendant guilty of murder.
In Munasif Ashan’s testimony, he revealed that he had been in a relationship with the deceased for nearly one and a half years. According to him, the decision to leave Greece for Italy stemmed from a heated argument between the couple.
Ashan asserted that the deceased girl had urged him to convert to Christianity and had insulted the Islamic Prophet Muhammad during their disagreement. Recounting the incident, he stated, “I attempted to leave, and she began throwing my clothes. I instructed her to sit on the bed, but she continued to curse me and Muhammad. In frustration, I pushed her off the bed and insisted she stay there. Despite my warning, she persisted in cursing me and Muhammad, and my anger escalated. I seized her by the neck, questioning who was influencing her with such statements all the time. I implored her to apologise as I held her by the head at that moment,” explained the convicted murderer.
— Greek City Times (@greekcitytimes) November 22, 2023
He continued, stating, “She grabbed my hand and insisted I release her. Despite her plea, I held on, repeatedly urging her to apologize. After a few moments, I noticed her eyes were closed. Concerned, I provided water and air. Feeling nervous, I left the house, gathered my belongings, and departed. I went to my brother for some money, then headed to Larissa Station to catch a train to Thessaloniki.”
The young Pakistani learned about his girlfriend’s death the following day through the internet. Upon discovering the news, he promptly reached out to fellow Pakistanis to arrange their departure from the country, as reported by Greek media.
He explained, “The next day, I learned from the Internet. I called my father, admitting my mistake. He inquired about the situation, and I recounted the incident with the girl. Enraged, he abruptly hung up. Subsequently, I sought assistance from a compatriot involved with immigrant affairs, expressing my desire to leave, and he aided me.”
Tension could be felt in the courtroom from the beginning to the end. After the hearing, the victim’s father burst out at the convict. He shouted, “Don’t look at me at all, rot in prison.” To calm him down, the police took him from the courtroom.
He expressed, “Losing my daughter in a car accident, I can comprehend, but losing her in such a manner, strangled?” Notably, the victim’s parents had opposed Nicoleta’s relationship with the Pakistani man.
Reports indicated that the victim had desired to end her relationship with Munasif Ashan, as she had communicated a week before her tragic murder. The communication records retrieved from the victim’s seized mobile phone unveiled multiple death threats issued by Munasif.
According to the findings of the postmortem examination, the Pakistani allegedly suffocated his 17-year-old girlfriend using his hands. It was reported that he applied force to her nose and head with his left hand, resulting in scratches, bruises, and abrasions on her face. There is suspicion that he utilized a cloth, held in his right hand, to seal her lips.
Shockingly, upon his arrest, Munasif was found in possession of several identity cards displaying different dates of birth and names. Despite being listed for deportation by Greek authorities in 2021, he was released from a migrant camp during a ‘decongestion’ initiative.
In the course of the interrogation, he disclosed his intention to marry Nicoletta, with plans for the wedding set in Italy. He had sought Nicoletta’s assistance with his asylum application, a request she declined. According to the murderer’s statements, Nicoletta allegedly urged him to convert to Christianity and made derogatory remarks about the Quran.