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CRIME

Police find missing boy Mirco’s body

Four months after his disappearance, police have found the body of missing 10-year-old Mirco, North Rhine-Westphalia public prosecutors announced on Thursday. The discovery followed the arrest of a suspect by police in Mönchengladbach.

Police find missing boy Mirco's body
Photo: DPA

Prosecutors in Krefeld declined to give more details, but police said earlier that the crime had been “solved.”

Police denied earlier media reports that they had been searching for the boy’s body along the A52 and L361 motorways. Daily Bild had reported that the body had already been found near there on Wednesday, the same day police picked up the suspect in the case.

According to daily Rheinische Post the suspect is a 46-year-old father of two from Schwalmtal. He came into police sights through their search for a Volkswagen Passat wagon, a vehicle witnesses reported seeing near where Mirco was abducted.

Police spokesman Willy Theveßen said the suspect had attempted to sell the vehicle abroad.

The boy was last seen September 3 at a bus stop near a skate park in Grefrath, North Rhine-Westphalia, from where he was supposed to ride his bike home. The bike was found by the side of a nearby road.

Mirco’s trousers were found in a field in the area, leading police to fear he was the victim of a sexual attack. They also believe the perpetrator lived locally.

Despite several large searches – which included Tornado fighter jets and a drone – police had been unable to find the missing boy.

In October, detectives said they believed they had identified the make of car the perpetrator drove – a VW Passat B6 built between 2005 and 2010 – and were making contact with owners of this type of car in the area.

The conclusion was reached by corroborating various witness accounts, though the colour of the car had not been ascertained because it was dark at the time of Mirco’s disappearance.

DAPD/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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