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CRIME

Group poisons coworker’s coffee

“Funny” colleagues went a little overboard when “watering down” their co-worker’s coffee with antifreeze at a restaurant, police in Radolfzell reported on Friday.

Group poisons coworker's coffee
Photo: DPA

The employees, two young women and a young man mixed the antifreeze in their 39-year-old colleague’s morning coffee, causing chemical burns in his nose and throat.

“It is a ghoulish joke gone wrong,” police officer Fritz Bezikofer told The Local on Friday. “It was just what we call Jux und Tollerei“, or good-natured fun, he added.

The younger staff members began a series of pranks in early November, thinning their coworker’s coffee with all kinds of “ingredients” such as cola, orange juice and “nose and throat slime.” During the course of the month stepped up the intensity of the pranks by urinating in the man’s thermos bottle, which he kept in a meeting area.

But their final trick has police in the German state of the Baden-Württemberg investigating them for poisoning and causing bodily harm to the man, who is now on sick leave after drinking the antifreeze.

Police however insist that the incident was not social mobbing. “They all got along great,” Bezikofer said. “He was away from work very often, and they used that to play pranks. They just went too far and the situation escalated,” he adds.

Police are also checking into whether coworkers contaminated food at the restaurant.

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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