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CRIME

Man suspected of blackmailing Cindy Crawford held

A German man accused of trying to blackmail Cindy Crawford over a photo showing the former supermodel's daughter gagged and bound to a chair is now in custody, police said on Tuesday.

Man suspected of blackmailing Cindy Crawford held
Photo: DPA

Edis Kayalar, 26, who has been charged with attempting to extort $100,000 (€67,000 euros) from Crawford by threatening to publish the photo, handed himself into police late Monday evening, a spokesman told AFP.

Kayalar, already known to the police for drug-related offences, was being questioned, the spokesman said.

The photo was apparently taken by the couple’s former nanny and shows the girl, then aged seven and now eight, tied to a chair wearing shorts and a T-shirt, according to court papers.

The girl told her parents, who were unaware of the image, that the nanny had taken the photograph as part of a “cops and robbers” game, according to an affidavit filed in the case.

Kayalar, a friend of the nanny, took possession of the photo and threatened Crawford, 43, and her husband Rande Gerber with its release unless they met his demands, officials said.

The couple reported the extortion attempt as soon as Kayalar approached them, authorities said, triggering an FBI investigation.

Kayalar, a professional model according to entertainment site TMZ.com, has been charged with one count of extortion, which carries a maximum sentence of two years.

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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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