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CRIME

Suspect in Hamburg ‘honour killing’ had assault record

A 23-year-old Hamburg man suspected of stabbing his sister to death in an honour killing last week had already been prosecuted for assaulting her and others, prosecutors confirmed on Monday.

Suspect in Hamburg 'honour killing' had assault record
Police arresting the suspect on Friday. Photo: DPA

The man was sentenced in March on an assault charge to one year and five months without possibility of probation, the Hamburg prosecutor’s office told German press agency DDP on Monday, confirming media reports.

The man had requested his March sentence be deferred, prosecutors said. He was notified in writing on Wednesday – a day before the stabbing – that the request had been rejected.

Police were also investigating earlier claims that he assaulted two of his sisters, including the girl stabbed last week.

Police arrested the man on Friday after the stabbing death of his 16-year-old sister early Friday morning in Hamburg’s Sankt Georg district. Neighbours and a passing group of youths heard the girl screaming near the Berliner Tor metro stop and called police at 11:21 pm on Thursday. The girl died about an hour later at the scene of the stabbing.

The girl’s oldest brother – like her a German citizen of Afghan origin – admitted to police he had killed her because she had turned away from her family, DDP reported. The family immigrated to Germany from Afghanistan 13 years ago, German news magazine Der Spiegel reported in its online edition.

The brother was charged in February with assaulting the 16-year-old girl and another of his sisters, DDP reported. Senior prosecutor Rüdiger Bagger denied reports that the man had already been sentenced in that case, saying that it was still pending.

The girl’s cousin, Mujda O., told Der Spiegel‘s television unit that the 23-year-old had been getting into fights every two weeks.

“If you were to call this an honour killing, you would be correct. Very correct,” the girl, who was not identified with her last name, told Der Spiegel.

A series of six honour killings in Berlin – including the shooting at a bus stop of 23-year-old Turkish woman Hatun Sürücü – shook Germany in 2005. Sürücü’s youngest brother, Ayhan Sürücü, later confessed to killing her because he did not approve of her Western lifestyle.

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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