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CRIME

Police search for suitcase baby suspect

Hamburg police on Tuesday said they had received several tips after releasing a video of a man suspected of abandoning a baby in a suitcase last week.

Police search for suitcase baby suspect
Photo: DPA

The surveillance video released on Monday was taken at the port city’s central Dammtor S-Bahn commuter train station, close to where the newborn infant was discovered shut in a suitcase.

Just a few days old, the healthy baby girl was found outside the city’s CCH convention centre around 7:30 pm on January 4.

The video taken around 3 pm that day shows a young man with short dark hair and black clothing, carrying a suitcase that bore the same branding as the luggage in which the infant was found – Omica.

Last week daily Bild reported that “a well-dressed man” told CCH doorman Naji Habib: “There’s a suitcase outside, please take care of it.” After Habib had a member of the security staff bring it inside, he heard noises but didn’t think it was coming from the piece of luggage.

“Half an hour later I heard crying again and I opened the suitcase with a colleague,” he told the paper. “There was a pretty little girl, dressed in a romper suit, cap and in a baby sleeping bag.”

The baby, who has been named Marie, was taken to a clinic and pronounced in good health.

The police said the infant had not been delivered in a professional setting owing to how the umbilical cord had been cut.

Marie continues to thrive and will be placed with a foster family sometime next week, police said, adding that a number of potential parents around the world have expressed an interest in adopting the little girl.

DPA/DAPD/The Local/ka

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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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