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CRIME

Cops chase thief onto Cologne Cathedral

A man caught stealing cameras from a shop in the early hours of Tuesday morning tried to escape by climbing scaffolding on Cologne Cathedral with the police hot on his heels. The fire brigade returned the man to earth in handcuffs.

Cops chase thief onto Cologne Cathedral
Photo: DPA

At around 3:20am on Tuesday the 27-year-old unnamed man set off a security alarm in a camera shop next to the Gothic masterpiece, Die Welt reported on Tuesday.

A few minutes later police officers arrived on the scene to find a man ransacking the display cabinets, said the paper. When the man saw the police, he escaped out of a window.

Once outside, the suspected thief hurried into a construction lift at the cathedral, ignoring police demands to freeze.

Thinking he might escape that way, the man climbed onto the scaffolding on the cathedral, but was caught and arrested by police shortly after.

The fire service was called in to bring the man safely back down to earth – where he was handcuffed in a truck.

Police told the paper they believed the suspect had got into the shop through a skylight and forced open the display cabinets and cupboards.

When he was discovered, the man had already stashed 21 valuable cameras and had put his haul behind the shop ready for his getaway.

The man, who is known to the police for other offences, admitted to the break-in during questioning.

The Local/jlb

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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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