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CRIME

Teen sentenced to 8 1/2 years in custody for Kassandra attack

A Wuppertal court on Tuesday sentenced a 15-year-old boy to eight-and-a-half years in a juvenile detention centre for attempted murder for beating a nine-year-old girl and leaving her to die in a drainage pipe.

Teen sentenced to 8 1/2 years in custody for Kassandra attack
The drain pipe where Kassandra was found. Photo: DPA

The court in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia found the boy guilty of causing life-threatening injuries to the girl – identified only as Kassandra – by hitting her in the face with rocks, then putting her 1.5 metres below ground in a drain pipe with a heavy manhole cover on top.

She was found in critical condition by a search dog after lying in the pipe for seven hours. Her injuries were so severe that doctors put her in an artificial coma for several days so she could heal. When she awoke she reportedly had no memory of the attack.

The day before the attack she had attended a Catholic youth group meeting but did not return home, prompting a call to the police from her worried parents.

Four weeks of court proceedings against the underage defendant, who according to daily Bild had attended a special school for adolescents with emotional problems, were closed to the public.

After denying wrongdoing to police, the boy is said to have spoken about the September 14, 2009 crime for the first time during this month, and his lawyer said the statements were a confession.

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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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