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CRIME

Dismembered woman found in suitcase died of head injury

A woman whose decomposing torso was found this week in a suitcase in the northern German city of Braunschweig died of a head injury, police said on Thursday.

Dismembered woman found in suitcase died of head injury
A suitcase in a field held the rest of the body. Photo: DPA

The autopsy results match a confession by the 48-year-old woman’s boyfriend, police said. The 42-year-old man, who has been arrested on suspicion of murder, told police he killed the woman in mid-March and cut her body in pieces.

He did not disclose a motive, though both are believed to have been drunk at the time. Both the victim and suspect had problems with alcohol abuse, police said.

“The suspect is no stranger to us,” Braunschweig police spokesman Joachim Grande told German news agency DDP, which reported that the 42-year-old had been the subject of previous harassment and assault complaints.

A janitor found the woman’s badly decomposed torso on Tuesday in the cellar of her apartment house after residents complained about maggots and a terrible smell. Police used search dogs to find the rest of the pieces of her body, which had been hidden in a second suitcase in a field about a kilometre from the apartment house.

Police identified the woman by her tattoos as Karin N., DDP reported. Her last name has not been disclosed.

In his confession, the woman’s boyfriend told police she was lying on a sofa when he struck her on the head. Terrified of being discovered, he said he hacked off her head and legs in the bathroom and hid the pieces of her body in the two suitcases.

dpa/ddp

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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