Arrest warrant issued for ex-Argentine dictator

German justice authorities said Monday they have ordered an international arrest warrant for ex-Argentine military dictator Jorge Rafael Videla over the killing of a German citizen while he was in power.

Arrest warrant issued for ex-Argentine dictator
Photo: DPA

A spokesman for the prosecutor’s office in the southern city of Nuremberg told AFP that the warrant pertained to the murder of German student Rolf Stawowiok in the 1970s.

“The prosecutor’s office applied for an arrest warrant at the end of December and it has come through in the meantime,” he said.

Videla, now 84, is currently serving a life term at an Argentine barracks on multiple charges of human rights violations while he was at the helm of the country’s military junta from 1976 to 1981.

The Nuremberg prosecutor’s office opened a probe into the junta’s former leaders including Videla at the end of the 1990s over the killing and disappearance of Germans during the so-called Dirty War. But it dropped the cases after Argentine authorities rejected an extradition request.

German authorities reopened the case last year when Stawowiok’s remains were discovered in Argentina showing that he had been shot several times. During the years of junta rule some 30,000 people vanished and are still unaccounted for.

Videla was sentenced to life in prison for his crimes in 1985 but was pardoned and released in 1990 under former President Carlos Menem, only to be arrested again in 1998 for kidnapping children and other charges not included in his pardons.


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.