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CRIME

SPD politician’s office searched for child porn

Police searched Social Democrat (SPD) parliamentarian Jörg Tauss’ Berlin office on Thursday on suspicion of child pornography.

SPD politician's office searched for child porn
Photo: DPA

“I’m waiting calmly,” Tauss said as authorities searched his office. “I can’t comprehend it.”

The 55-year-old has been in parliament since 1994 and serves as the centre-left SPD party’s parliamentary expert on research and education as well as their general secretary for the state of Baden-Württemberg.

“I’ve concerned myself with this scene for years now,” Tauss said, adding that he couldn’t be sure whether the investigation was part of a “plot for revenge.”

Tauss’ second office was also reportedly searched on Thursday. According to broadcaster RBB, the public prosecutor’s office applied for a warrant in February.

The Bundestag earlier stripped Tauss of his immunity. The chairman of the Bundestag immunity committee, Thomas Strobl, said its members had closely reviewed the evidence against Tauss before taking their decision. Police were searching for suspect photographs and video material.

The online service of Der Spiegel magazine reported that one man, who had been accused of distributing child pornography in the past, was found to have been in possession of two private phone numbers for Tauss, as well as his home address.

Der Spiegel said the man from northern Germany also sent Tauss a DVD and exchanged 23 text and picture messages with him. State prosecutors declined to comment on the report.

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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