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CRIME

Legless Dachau court killer faces life in prison

A man who killed a public prosecutor in a Dachau court was handed a life sentence on Thursday, despite his slow-motion suicide attempt by refusing treatment for diabetes that resulted in both his legs being amputated.

Legless Dachau court killer faces life in prison
Photo: DPA

The 55-year-old man identified only as Rudolf U., was being given a year’s suspended sentence for charges related to fraud and not paying social security contributions in January at the Bavarian court, when he pulled out a pistol and started shooting.

Initially he fired at the judge, who ducked out of the way, but Rudolf U. then turned on the prosecutor, who he hit in the shoulder, stomach and arm. Despite efforts to save him, the prosecutor, a newly married 31-year-old, died.

Harsh criticism was aimed at the court for failing to preventing him to attending his sentencing with a gun, particularly after other witnesses said he had acted aggressively before.

Rudolf U., whose financial problems were triggered by his transport company going bankrupt, has been in custody since.

He ensured parts of this latest trial were delayed by initially refusing to allow doctors to amputate his one leg, having already lost the other to diabetes. Despite the onset of septicaemia he told doctors last month he did not want treatment and would prefer to die.

In the end his second leg was also amputated and he was able to attend the Munich district court in a hospital bed. He admitted trying to kill the judge and prosecutor, but denied trying to kill his defence lawyer and the court recorder.

Although he apologized to the family of the dead prosecutor, he did not demonstrate enough regret for the Munich prosecutor, who described the shooting as a “cold-blooded murder” conducted out of “absolute selfishness.”

The judge sentenced him to the maximum sentence available – 15 years – with no possibility of parole. The prosecutor warned that Rudolf U. remained a danger as he would use any opportunity left open to him to have his “revenge” against the justice system.

DAPD/DPA/The Local/hc

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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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