After the attack on Berlin’s Economics Senator Franziska Giffey (SPD), a 74-year-old man was arrested as the suspected perpetrator. The police and public prosecutor’s office said on Wednesday that there were “evidences of mental illness” in the man. The 74-year-old is already known to the police and there are findings in the area of ​​hate crime, it said. “However, investigations into the suspect’s motive behind yesterday’s attack are ongoing.”

Because of a possible mental illness, the public prosecutor’s office is now examining whether to request that the suspect be admitted to a psychiatric hospital. The accused should be brought before an investigating judge on Wednesday. The man’s apartment was searched.

Giffey was attacked on Tuesday afternoon in a library in the Rudow district in southern Berlin. Giffey said on Instagram on Wednesday that she had spoken to the head of the library. “Concentrating on this conversation, I suddenly felt a hard blow to my head and neck from behind. A man had attacked me with a bag filled with hard contents.”

The police announced on Wednesday night that Giffey had “briefly gone to hospital for outpatient treatment of headaches and neck pain.” The attacker left after the crime. The State Security Criminal Police Office, which is responsible for political crimes, is investigating.

Giffey further wrote that the library in the Neukölln district was a very special place for her because of her old political connections and that she had always supported it. “I would never have thought it possible that I would be attacked there.” And further: “After the first shock, I can say I’m fine.” She will continue her work undeterred on Wednesday. “Nevertheless, I am concerned and shocked by the increasing ‘fair game culture’ in which people who are politically active and committed in our country are increasingly exposed to seemingly justified and acceptable attacks.”

The crime scene is in Giffey’s constituency. In Neukölln she was district mayor, then became federal family minister. After her doctorate was revoked, she resigned in 2021 and returned to state politics, where she was governing mayor until 2023.

Note: This post has been updated several times.