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CRIME

Notorious Swede busted after massive car chase

A man described as Sweden’s most notorious criminal appeared in a German court on Wednesday after being arrested following a wild car chase involving a stolen Porsche and up to 24 police cars.

Notorious Swede busted after massive car chase
Mats E. is finally stopped by police. Photo: DPA

The man, identified by authorities as Mats E., appeared in a Lübeck district court charged with receiving stolen goods and counterfeiting official documents as well as a string of motoring offences connected with the chase.

The Lübeck state prosecutor says he had fake police and legal identification with him when he was arrested after the terrifying car chase.

“You could really say the car chase was like something from a film. People were throwing themselves out of the way,” a prosecutor spokesman told The Local. “One woman was with her little girl who was riding a bicycle.”

“The woman was hurt when she flung herself out of the way and her daughter was slightly injured when she fell off her bike. It could have ended in tragedy – they were very lucky,” she added.

The 52-year-old Swede, who the spokesman said had an address in Stockholm, is alleged to have collected the stolen Porsche Cayenne from thieves who had taken it in Stockholm last October. After putting false number plates on it, he headed for Lübeck where, the authorities claim, he wanted to sell it for around €80,000.

“The German police had been told about the stolen car by their Swedish colleagues and set up a checkpoint to stop it,” the spokesman said. “But he fled and drove through town at more than 140 kilometres an hour at times.”

While speeding through town pursued by 24 police cars, he is said to have ignored traffic regulations, running red lights and driving more than half a kilometre on the pavement, forcing pedestrians to run for their lives.

The chase continued, and it was only after nearly an hour, when he was heading out of town, that police formed a roadblock with their cars, and rammed his Porsche to bring him to a halt.

When they arrested him, the German police then discovered the man had already served long prison sentences in Sweden for kidnapping, car theft and armed robbery. He was last released in 2006.

He is said to be a member of a Swedish gang which specialises in stealing luxury cars, often disguised in fake police uniforms while doing so.

The case continues, with another hearing planned for April 29 when witnesses will be heard.

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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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