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Charges for couple who held German girl as slave

The Local · 13 Jun 2012, 15:59

Published: 13 Jun 2012 15:59 GMT+02:00

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Bettina Siegner, now 19, is doing better, although she is suffering post-traumatic stress disorder, the local public prosecutor spokesman Admir Arnautovic said.

"She is much better," the spokesman said.

"She underwent psychological expertise that established that she suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder. However, her both mental and physical recovery is on the right track."

Siegner was rescued by police in the village of Karavlasi, in Tuzla region last month after she had been held captive there since late 2005, according to the prosecutors. The couple were arrested on May 17 and she was placed in a safe house.

The county prosecutor's office in the northeastern town of Tuzla "indicted Milenko and Slavojka Marinkovic for illegally detaining in a cruel way" the spokesman said.

"They were charged for detaining this girl... inflicting her injuries, treating her in an inhuman way, exposing her to starvation and forcing her to do hard agriculture labour," said Arnautovic.

"They did not allow her to have any contact with other people and go to school."

When the teenager was found in a forest near the house where she was held, she had traces of old and fresh injuries on her body.

According to investigators quoted by local press, Bettina wishes to return to Germany where her father Alfred Siegner, a pensioner who has health problems, lives.

But she has to stay in Bosnia until judicial proceedings in her case are over as she is the key witness, the prosecutors said.

Police were alerted by a villager who said he saw Siegner being forced to eat pig food and pull a cart in which Milenko and Slavojka Marinkovic were sitting.

Her mother Christine Siegner, left the then 12-year-old Bettina with the Marinkovic couple in 2005 after having met them in Germany, where they had fled during Bosnia's 1992-1995 war.

Marinkovic family members say Christine Siegner is Milenko's second wife, which they said was not unusual within Roma communities.

For the time being, she is a witness in the case, but local authorities have seized her documents so she cannot leave Bosnia.

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"We are doing some verifications and it is possible that Bettina's mother will be also indicted," the spokesman said.

The Marinkovic family and Siegner's mother have denied all accusations.

If convicted, the couple, who have been detained since police rescued the young woman, could be jailed for up to eight years.


The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

16:24 June 13, 2012 by raandy
This has to be at least the third time I have read an article about human slavery here in Germany, I shutter at the prospect of its use world wide.

Serious punishment, not a slap on the wrist are needed, this should be treated as kidnaping.
16:32 June 13, 2012 by TheWonderer
You got something wrong - it was not in Germany but in Bosnia.

But the girl affected was German - her mother brought her down there when 13.

Her father and her step-mother (who both abused her) are both Bosnians.

In an area where so much bad happened a few years ago (civil war with lots of killing), people seem to have lost their values, morale and feelings...

17:02 June 14, 2012 by hanskarl
The story seems to indicate it was her mother and step father as she desires to return to her father in Germany.

@raandy...it is "I shudder" not "I shutter" but the meaning is understood.
00:46 August 5, 2012 by marge simpson
Thery are not Bosnians but gipsies who currently live on the border between the two countries (Bosnia and Serbia) in a messed up gipsy community. I am Bosnian, and I don´t even understand what they are saying exactly.

@ the wonderer yes -go, jump to conclusion that Bosnian people are some kind of idiots and generalize all you want... as you can see I (an average Bosnian) can spell English better than .. thatßs how informed you are..

should I now generalize and say taht all americans are stupid and uneducated??

I am sick of retarded comments
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