Kidnapped doctor put on trial for murder in France

A German cardiologist went on trial on Tuesday for the 1982 death of the daughter of a Frenchman who took justice into his own hands and had the doctor kidnapped, bound and delivered to a French courthouse.

Kidnapped doctor put on trial for murder in France
Photo: DPA

Dieter Krombach, 75, entered the Paris courtroom on crutches, preferring not to look at Andre Bamberski, 73, who has spent 29 years trying to get justice for his 14-year-old daughter, Kalinka.

A French court already in 1995 convicted the doctor in absentia of manslaughter over the death of Kalinka, his stepdaughter, who died at his home near Lake

Constance in 1982 after he gave her a mysterious injection.

“We’re here to fight, we will fight to the end,” Krombach’s lawyer, Philippe Ohayon, told journalists before the start of the new trial.

“The possibility of being tried is unbearable for Mr Krombach but he won’t escape this time,” said Laurent de Caunes, a lawyer for Bamberski who is a civil party in the case.

“Today something is happening that he’s wanted for years,” said Bamberski’s other lawyer, Francois Gibault, with his visibly emotional client declining to make any statement.

Bamberski was arrested in 2009 in Mulhouse near the German border after tipping off police about the whereabouts of Krombach, found in a doorway near the city’s courthouse, tied up and bleeding from a head injury.

Berlin had refused to hand him over on the grounds that he was tried and acquitted in Germany, but Bamberski spent two decades trying to have him sent to jail, convinced that he drugged Kalinka in order to rape her.

Charged with kidnapping, assault and criminal conspiracy, Bamberski has said that he gave the go-ahead for the kidnap and would suffer the consequences.

Questioned after Kalinka’s death in 1982, Krombach told German investigators he injected her with an iron-based solution to help her tan faster. He later said it was a remedy for anaemia.

German prosecutors found that the injection “probably” caused her death but dismissed the case for lack of evidence.

But France reopened it following an autopsy on Kalinka’s exhumed body, convicting the doctor of manslaughter in 1995.

The German cardiologist won a 2001 case against France before the European Court of Human Rights, which ruled he was denied a fair hearing and the right to an appeal in the case.

The cardiologist was stripped of his licence and handed a suspended jail sentence in 1997 for sexually abusing a 16-year-old patient after injecting her with anaesthetic in his surgery.


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German man jailed for killing petrol station worker in mask row

A 50-year-old German man was jailed for life Tuesday for shooting dead a petrol station cashier because he was angry about being told to wear a mask while buying beer.

German man jailed for killing petrol station worker in mask row

The September 2021 murder in the western town of Idar-Oberstein shocked Germany, which saw a vocal anti-mask and anti-vaccine movement emerge in response to the government’s coronavirus restrictions.

The row started when 20-year-old student worker Alex W. asked the man to put on a mask inside the shop, as required in all German stores at the time.

After a brief argument, the man left.

The perpetrator – identified only as Mario N. – returned about an hour and a half later, this time wearing a mask. But as he bought his six-pack of beer to the till, he took off his mask and another argument ensued.

He then pulled out a revolver and shot the cashier in the head point-blank.

On Tuesday, the district court in Bad-Kreuznach convicted Mario N. of murder and unlawful possession of a firearm, and handed him a life sentence.

READ ALSO: Shock in Germany after cashier shot dead in Covid mask row

Under German law, people given a life sentence can usually seek parole after 15 years. His defence team had sought a sentence of manslaughter, rather than murder.

At the start of the trial, prosecutor Nicole Frohn told how Mario N. had felt increasingly angry about the measures imposed to curb the pandemic, seeing them as an infringement on his rights.

“Since he knew he couldn’t reach the politicians responsible, he decided to kill him (Alex W.),” she said.

Mario N. turned himself in to police the day after the shooting.

German has relaxed most of its coronavirus rules, although masks are still required in some settings, such as public transport.