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CRIME

Teen suspect’s new book claims he didn’t abuse Brit

In a new book, the German teenager accused of sexually abusing a 13-year-old British girl during a family vacation in Turkey pleads his innocence and details his time behind bars even before a Turkish court has ruled on the case.

Teen suspect's new book claims he didn't abuse Brit
Photo: DPA

The German-language memoir “Marco W. – My 247 Days in a Turkish Clink” hit the shelves Friday and covers not only the fateful minutes between Marco Weiss, 18, and the alleged victim but also Weiss’ thoughts and experiences as he awaited trial in a Turkish cell.

“But before it could even start it was already over for me … Maybe she was mad because she had hoped for much more. In any case, I pushed her hand away, turned over on my side and pulled up my zipper,” Weiss writes in the book, which is being excerpted by Bild.

Weiss was arrested April 12, 2007 at his hotel in Antalya, Turkey after the girl, dubbed “Caroline” in the book, and her parents went to the police. The arrest and ensuing trials sparked a media firestorm that highlighted decades-old tensions between Turkey and Germany, home to 3.5 million Turkish nationals, as well as Germany and the U.K.

The book is being released two weeks ahead of schedule by kids books specialist Hamburger Kinderbuch Verlag due to strong demand. The title is an homage to how German media referred to Weiss during the ordeal – ethical guidelines prohibit media outlets from ever publishing the last names of victims and suspects.

Weiss at the time – and in his book – said he thought the girl was 15 and maintained that any sexual contact was consensual. He also said things moved too quickly for him after meeting the girl in a disco and had plans to tell her they weren’t a match.

For her part, the girl reportedly said Weiss had sexually abused her while she slept.

Weiss was eventually set free and returned to Germany in a private jet pending the outcome of the trial. If he is found guilty, he would be able to sit out the sentence in a German jail though legal experts expect the charges to be thrown out by spring.

Although the book’s publication has sparked the resignation of one of Weiss’ attorneys, his remaining lawyers in Germany and Turkey said they understand the teenager’s literary ambitions. “Writing this book is important and useful for processing the experience psychologically,” attorney Michael Nagel told daily Die Welt.

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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