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CRIME

Suspect keeps silence over teen murders

Police confirmed on Tuesday afternoon they were holding a local man suspected of murdering two teenagers in Lower Saxony but said the 26-year-old was refusing to answer charges put to him.

Suspect keeps silence over teen murders
Photo: DPA

The state prosecutor, Hans Hugo Heimgärtner, was planning to take the suspect before a judge and get a warrant to continue holding him, Heimgärtner’s spokesman said.

He was arrested overnight in a village in the Northeim district not far from Bodenfelde, where the teenagers lived and where their bodies were found in a secluded wooded area on the edge of town.

The state prosecutors refused to reveal further details about the man’s identity. They are also declining for now to reveal further details about how the teens died. But a post-mortem has confirmed they were not sexually assaulted.

Prosecutors planned to hold a press conference on Wednesday.

The bodies of the 13-year-old boy, Tobias, and 14-year-old girl, Nina, were found lying close to one another in a wooded area on the outskirts of the town of Bodenfelde on Sunday.

The police had been searching intensively for the girl, Nina, since Tuesday, when she was reported missing by her mother, criminal director Andreas Borchert said on Monday. Fellow students had seen and even spoken to her during the past week but she had hidden from police. One witness also reported seeing her with an unidentified man.

The boy, Tobias, had accompanied a friend to the train station in Bodenfelde on Saturday night around 8 pm but had not been seen after that. Borchert confirmed that the boy’s mother had found his body on Sunday.

DPA/The Local/dw

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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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