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CRIME

Man beats ex-in-laws to death with hammer

A failed businessman was jailed for life on Tuesday for beating his former in-laws to death with a hammer when they refused to give him money.

Man beats ex-in-laws to death with hammer
Uwe J. is led out of court on Tuesday. Photo: DPA

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The Leipzig state court in Saxony, eastern Germany, sentenced Uwe J. to robbery with fatal consequences, the Bild newspaper reported.

The 47-year-old confessed the crime and can apply for parole after 15 years. But possible early release for good behaviour has been ruled out.

Uwe J. attacked both former in-laws, Erhard and Marlies G., with a hammer in their home in Pegau, Saxony, on 25th March this year.

He reportedly went over to demand money as he had spiralling debts and had just lost his house and had a failed drywalling company, Bild reported. But the couple refused.

It was then that he used the hammer he had brought with him to first strike his former mother-in-law, 68, on the skull. He then hit Erhard G., 72, who was trying to protect his wife. He dealt them 12 blows in total.

A police woman told the court that the scene resembled a "horror film".

“The floor was bloodstained, the kitchen was bloodstained. You could see how the man had tried to get out of the kitchenette to get help,” she said.

Uwe J. left the scene with €150 in cash and his victim's bank cards. Three days later, one of the couple’s grandchildren found them still lying on the kitchen floor, covered in blood.

It was 11 days after the discovery that the police special forces stormed Uwe J.'s house in Groitzsch. He had already fled, and officers eventually caught up with him near the town of Altenburg also in Saxony.

READ MORE: Man jailed for job centre hammer attack

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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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