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CRIME

Police find missing woman set in concrete

Police found the body of a woman near Bonn on Wednesday set in concrete and hidden behind a wall, five years after she went missing.

Police find missing woman set in concrete
Photo: DPA

The corpse of the woman, referred to as Sigrid P., was discovered in the cellar of a family home in Königswinter, near Bonn in North Rhine-Westphalia.

The dead woman’s husband, who was living in the house with his newly married wife, has been arrested, Bonn’s police department said.

Police discovered the body when they carried out a search of the home using diggers. The body was found – set in concrete – when officers prised open the cellar’s walls with drill hammers.

The corpse was then transferred to Bonn’s forensic hospital and is currently undergoing an autopsy, according to the Welt newspaper.

Police spokesman Robert Scholten said: “Around midday we found a woman’s body in the cellar of a family home in the district of Ittenbach,” the Bild newspaper reported. He added that it was “very likely” to be that of Sigrid P.

At present Gerd P., her 74-year-old former husband, is the main suspect.

In February 2008 he confirmed that his then 38-year-old wife had left him following arguments and money problems. At this stage the police had not been called and nobody had reported her missing.

“The man told us that she had left to start a new life,” Frank Piontek, the police superintendent in charge of the case, told the Welt.

It was not until December 2012 that one of Sigrid P.’s daughters contacted the media. The police then opened an investigation and discovered that Sigrid P. had not notified the authorities of her change of address, had not been using her health insurance card and had “left no other traces whatsoever”, Piontek told the Welt.

The search for the missing woman was launched through the crime investigation television show 'Aktenzeichen XY … ungelöst' – on which Madeleine McCann’s parents also recently appeared.

The programme received information that the suspected killer, Gerd P., had begun extensive construction work in his garden. Police were then able to carry out a search on the property leading to the discovery of the corpse.

READ MORE: Graveyard cremates wrong body in mix-up

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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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