Swede makes up kidnapping after marriage dispute

A 43-year-old Swedish man has landed himself in hot water with German police after he tried to smooth over the cracks of a marital tiff with a dramatic but entirely fabricated crime.

Swede makes up kidnapping after marriage dispute
The man staged the crime at the Nuremberg train station. Photo: DPA

Police in Nuremberg launched a large-scale manhunt after the man approached an officer at the central railway station on Saturday and claimed to have been abducted from his home in southern Sweden on October 21st, newspaper Nürnberger Nachrichten reports.

The man told police that two unknown men had taken him from his home and driven him to Germany in a Volvo with Swedish plates. There they demanded money and stole thousands of euros after forcing him to reveal his credit card details.

The Swede said he was then held against his will in Nuremberg for several days before the kidnappers dropped him off in front of the main station and fled the scene in their Volvo.

Having no reason to doubt the veracity of the story, police immediately committed resources to a search for the alleged perpetrators.

But when questioned in the presence of an interpreter, the Swede confessed that he had in fact fled his home country of his own accord when he no longer felt like speaking to his wife.

The marital fugitive revealed that his impromptu road trip had also taken him to Austria and Italy before he eventually made his way to southern Germany.

Somewhere in the course of the journey, the thought struck him that he was going to have some explaining to do when he finally got home. Realizing his wife might view his disappearance in a more favourable light if he could prove he had been the victim of a crime, the Swede set about concocting his improbable tale of abduction and woe.

Despite the fact that they did not always see eye to eye, the 43-year-old’s wife had taken the trouble to report her husband missing in the intervening period.

But the authorities in Nuremberg were not quite so charitable. State prosecutors ordered a €3,000 bail payment and have placed the Swede under investigation for forging a crime.


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.