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CRIME

No new clues on kidnapped banker’s wife

The Heidenheim family of kidnapped banker’s wife Maria Bögerl appeared on German television Wednesday night in an appeal for clues to her disappearance. But police said they still have no solid leads on her whereabouts.

No new clues on kidnapped banker's wife
Photo: DPA

The 54-year-old was abducted on the morning of May 12. Her kidnappers reportedly demanded a ransom of several hundred thousand euros from her husband, Sparkasse banking chief in the Heidenheim region of Baden-Württemberg.

The huge police manhunt has been searching for the mother of two, but so far the authorities have found only her abandoned Mercedes A-Class car.

Following her family’s emotional appeal on Wednesday evening on the unsolved crime show Aktenzeichen XY…ungelöst, about 100 calls came in, Heidenheim police spokesman Uli Stöckle told broadcaster ZDF on Thursday morning.

Most of the calls have centred on the location where her car was found and the location of the ransom exchange, he said.

Stöckle spoke of an “extremely difficult” investigation, explaining that the kidnappers have broken off contact, making their demands unclear and putting the health of the victim in question.

According to daily Bild last week, Mr. Bögerl spoke with his wife by phone shortly after her abduction and she told him the kidnapper or kidnappers were threatening to kill her.

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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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