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CRIME

Lawyer of suspected child killer criticizes Swedish police

The lawyer of a German woman being held in connection with the brutal murder of two children in Arboga in central Sweden has directed sharp criticism at the Swedish police.

Tanja Brettschneider said she was unclear as to why an analysis of her client’s DNA was not expected to be ready until early next week.

“Swedish police have taken an awfully long time to prepare an analysis of the DNA sample. That’s bad. It is very unusual here in Germany for a DNA result to take as long as this and we have not been presented with an analysis yet,” she told news agency TT.

Sweden’s Court of Appeal ruled on Tuesday not to remove the warrant for her arrest that led to German police taking the 31-year-old German woman into custody in Hanover.

“It is probable that she was in Arboga on the day of the murder,” said police spokesman Börje Strömberg, who pointed to evidence from security cameras at the town’s train station.

She is also believed to have used her telephone in Arboga on the day of the murders, according to an unconfirmed report in the Hannoversche Allgemeine newspaper.

The 31-year-old has refused to speak to two Swedish police officers who have travelled to Germany to question the suspect.

Two children, 1 and 3, and their 23-year-old mother were found with serious stab wounds at their home in Arboga in central Sweden on March 17th. The children later died from their injuries.

TT/The Local

GERMANY AND ISRAEL

Germany in talks on further payout for 1972 Olympics victims

The German government says it is in talks over further compensation for victims of the attack on the Munich Olympics, as the 50th anniversary of the atrocity approaches.

Germany in talks on further payout for 1972 Olympics victims

Ahead of the commemoration in September, relatives of the Israelis killed have indicated they are unhappy with what Germany is offering.

“Conversations based on trust are taking place with representatives of the victims’ families,” a German interior ministry spokesman told AFP when asked about the negotiations.

He did not specify who would benefit or how much money had been earmarked, saying only that any package would “again” be financed by the federal government, the state of Bavaria and the city of Munich.

On September 5th, 1972, eight gunmen broke into the Israeli team’s flat at the Olympic village, shooting dead two and taking nine Israelis hostage, threatening to kill them unless 232 Palestinian prisoners were released.

West German police responded with a bungled rescue operation in which all nine hostages were killed, along with five of the eight hostage-takers and a police officer.

An armed police officer in a tracksuit secures the block where terrorists  held Israeli hostages at the Olympic Village in Munich on 5th September 1972.

An armed police officer in a tracksuit secures the block where terrorists held Israeli hostages at the Olympic Village in Munich on 5th September 1972. Photo: picture alliance / dpa | Horst Ossingert

The spokeswoman for the victims’ families, Ankie Spitzer, told the German media group RND that the amount currently on the table was “insulting” and threatened a boycott of this year’s commemorations.

She said Berlin was offering a total of €10 million including around €4.5 million already provided in compensation between 1972 and 2002 — an amount she said did not correspond to international standards. 

“We are angry and disappointed,” said Spitzer, the widow of fencing coach Andre Spitzer who was killed in the attack. “We never wanted to talk publicly about money but now we are forced to.”

RND reported that the German and Israeli governments would like to see an accord by August 15th.

The interior ministry spokesman said that beyond compensation, Germany intended to use the anniversary for fresh “historical appraisal, remembrance and recognition”.

He said this would include the formation of a commission of German and Israeli historians to “comprehensively” establish what happened “from the perspective of the year 2022”.

This would lead to “an offer of further acts of acknowledgement of the relatives of the victims of the attack” and the “grave consequences” they suffered.

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