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CRIME

Emergency phone at site of Munich S-Bahn beating was broken

The emergency telephone at the Munich S-Bahn stop where a man was beaten to death over the weekend has been broken for the past five years, daily Süddeutsche Zeitung reported on Thursday.

Emergency phone at site of Munich S-Bahn beating was broken
Photo: DPA

According to the paper, the Solln station emergency phone is one of 20 that are out of order due to a dispute between national rail operator Deutsche Bahn and regional train service provider Bayrische Oberlandbahn (BOB).

According to train station owner Deutsche Bahn, the BOB built the emergency phones without their permission. Meanwhile BOB head Heino Seeger told the paper that his company was contractually obligated to provide the phones, but technical problems and “unfriendly” negotiations with Deutsche Bahn meant they were never turned on.

“Functioning phone towers could not have saved Dominik Brunner’s life, as the emergency calls went through to police via mobile phone,” the paper wrote. “But the feverish debate over more security at train stations raises the question of why.”

The 50-year-old business man was brutally beaten by two teenagers on Saturday afternoon after he confronted them for bullying a group of children on an S-Bahn train.

The 17 and 18-year-olds have been accused of murder. Police said that the young men had been threatening and demanding money from a group of younger teenagers at an S-Bahn station before following them onto a train, where Brunner intervened.

He called police on his mobile phone and offered to leave the train with the children to make sure they were safe.

As they left the train at the Solln train station, Markus S. and Sebastian L. followed Brunner and attacked him. They hit and kicked him some 22 times within just a few minutes. The children who had exited the train with the man attempted to stop the attackers unsuccessfully, according to state prosecutors. He died of his injuries in a nearby hospital a few hours later.

Police said Monday they had arrested a third suspect, 17-year-old Christoph T., for allegedly initiating threats against the group of children after they refused to give the older teens €15. He is accused of extortion. Witnesses also reported seeing him hit the group of children twice. The teen allegedly boarded a different train while his friends followed the younger children onto another – where they encountered their middle-aged victim.

All three of the teens in police custody have reportedly had brushes with the law in the past due to theft, assault and extortion. Two of the accused also reportedly suffer from substance addiction.

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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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