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CRIME

Corruption probe takes in ThyssenKrupp subsidiary

An investigation into corporate corruption allegations in Asia appears to have widened and now includes a subsidiary of German steel concern ThyssenKrupp.

Corruption probe takes in ThyssenKrupp subsidiary
Photo: DPA

The probe by German prosecutors was originally looking into engine-maker Tognum and alleged kickbacks and bribes in connection with a weapons deal.

But it now appears that ThyssenKrupp’s submarine-making subsidiary HDW transferred money to a South Korean businessman who is a focus of the original probe. The company allegedly then received a submarine contract worth €2.5 billion from South Korean authorities, according to a report in weekly news magazine Der Spiegel.

ThyssenKrupp said it was launching an internal review and also working with authorities. Auditors and attorneys will go to South Korea for an on-site investigation in November, the company said.

The investigation into Tognum has raised eyebrows because of the gravity of some of the allegations.

According to a 200-page report, a company board member with responsibility for Asia may have been involved in facilitating millions of euros in kickbacks and bribes in connection with the arms deal.

The report described raucous parties with South Korean defence officials at red-light district nightclubs.

HDW, which has been owned for several years by ThyssenKrupp, operates Germany’s largest shipyard in Kiel. It employs thousands of workers throughout Europe.

DPA/The Local/mdm

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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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