Suspect in Cologne sex attacks: “I am Syrian. You have to treat me kindly. Mrs Merkel invited me."

Ministers have said there is no evidence asylum seekers were involved in the violence.

But the leaked police report, published in Bild newspaper and Spiegel, a news magazine, claims that one of those involved told officers: “I am Syrian. You have to treat me kindly. Mrs Merkel invited me.”

Another tore up his residence permit before the eyes of police, and told them: “You can’t do anything to me, I can get a new one tomorrow.”

A local newspaper reported that fifteen asylum-seekers from Syria and Afghanistan were briefly held by police on New Year’s Eve in connection with the sex attacks but were released.