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CRIME

Man jailed for torturing girlfriend to death

A court in Hannover jailed a man for life on Wednesday for torturing his girlfriend to death over six hours. He filmed the abuse on his mobile phone in what the judge called the worst case he had ever seen.

Man jailed for torturing girlfriend to death
Björn F. was found guilty of murder and sexual assault Photo: DPA

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“You cannot kill someone more gruesomely,” judge Wolfgang Rosenbusch said after sentencing 33-year-old Björn F. to life in prison for murder and sexual assault.

The court heard how the man spent six hours torturing his 23-year-old girlfriend until she died – apparently driven by rage after forcing the young woman into prostitution but then being unable to control his jealousy.

Björn F. filmed the attack, which took place in Barsinghausen near Hannover, on his mobile phone. In the footage it shows how he hit her 263 times in just 11 minutes. He also took more than 200 photos. “She did not stand a chance,” said Rosenbusch.

Despite testing positive for being under the influence of alcohol and cocaine, the court decided he was of sound mind when he killed the woman.

Witnesses in court told the judge how they knew Björn F., a skilled labourer, had abused a number of his past girlfriends.

The defence called for a nine-year sentence with rehabilitation for their defendant’s drug addiction. But instead he will go to prison for life. His case will be reviewed after 21 years.

SEE ALSO: Child murderer, 46, jailed as a minor

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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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