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Police make arrest in child car park murder

Police have arrested a suspect in the murder of an 11-year-old girl whose body was found in a car park in north-western Germany, after CCTV footage from the scene was released to the public.

Police make arrest in child car park murder
Photo: DPA

Authorities took the unusual step of releasing the images on Tuesday – and made the arrest in the evening after, it was reported, that someone recognised the person in the video.

Police in Emden, Lower Saxony, have not confirmed a report in mass circulation daily Bild that a witness came forward to identify the man seen in the video dressed in dark clothing in the car park.

“We will be working through the investigation calmly, there is no more that we can say,” the spokesman said.

Footage of the man was taken from the car park on Saturday after the body of the girl, identified only as Lena, was discovered by a security guard in a multi-story car park adjacent to a multiplex cinema.

She had gone out with a boy of the same age at 5 p.m. on Saturday to feed ducks. The pair had cycled into the car park, adjacent to a multiplex cinema, between 5:30pm and 7pm. Her body was found some hours later.

“I can say that the crime was sexually motivated,” said police spokesman Brandt on Monday. Police are yet to disclose the exact cause of death, but are treating it as a murder case.

The town of Emden has put up a €10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the attacker. So far 75 people have come forward to the police offering information.

Around 1,500 people from the small town gathered in front of the train station on Monday evening for a minute’s silence.

DPA/The Local/jcw

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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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