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CRIME

‘Veil martyr’ family pursues court officials

The family of the “veil martyr” – an Egyptian woman stabbed to death in a Dresden court room in July – is suing a judge and court president for failing to protect her, a public prosecutor confirmed on Saturday.

'Veil martyr' family pursues court officials
Photo: DPA

Senior Dresden public prosecutor Christian Avenarius said that a lawyer for the dead woman’s husband had begun legal action six weeks ago.

Last week, Alex Wiens, 28, was sentenced to life imprisonment for stabbing to death Marwa El-Sherbini in a Dresden court room.

On July 1, Wiens plunged an 18-centimetre kitchen knife at least 16 times into Sherbini, 31 and three-months pregnant at the time. Her son, three-year-old Mustafa, watched her bleed to death at the scene. Sherbini had taken Wiens to court after he racially abused her in a children’s playground.

Sherbini’s husband, Egyptian geneticist Elwy Okaz, rushed to her aid but was also stabbed repeatedly and then shot in the leg by a guard who apparently mistook him for the attacker.

According to a Cairo newspaper report, Sherbini’s family is accusing the judge who was presiding over the court, and the court’s president, of failing to arrange proper security, thereby making them accessories to her death.

Despite knowledge of Wiens’ “criminal intent” there had been no special security arranged, one of the family’s lawyers said.

The family is also in discussion with the state of Saxony over compensation, the lawyer said.

Sherbini became known as the “veiled martyr” after her death provoked outrage in the Muslim world.

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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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