Libya wants to buy German ankle monitors

The interim Libyan government is interested in buying German electronic monitoring devices for criminals, it was reported Monday.

Libya wants to buy German ankle monitors
Photo: DPA

According to the Bild newspaper, the German Foreign Ministry received an official application for the high-tech ankle shackles from the new Libyan leadership several weeks ago.

The Foreign Ministry reportedly considers the application a chance to engage in trade with Libya after the toppling of dictator Muammar Qaddafi.

But the ministry refused to answer any direct questions on the application.

“The German government is in continual contact with the transitional council and the interim government on how best to support the transition to democracy, economic recovery, the treatment of the injured, and the rebuilding of functioning state institutions,” a ministry spokeswoman told the paper.

Electronic ankle monitors – wristwatch-sized transmitters fitted to a convicted criminal’s ankle – are considered a viable alternative to prison sentences or a useful device during parole periods.

The tags transmit signals 24 hours a day to a data box in the criminal’s home, from where data is transmitted to a central control centre. Police officers in the centre can then see whether the criminal is staying in a designated area or not. An alarm is tripped if anyone attempts to tamper with the monitors or leave the designated area.

Ankle monitors have been in use in the United States since 2007 and in some German states since earlier this year.

The Local/bk

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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.