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CRIME

Groom ‘kills bride’ ten days before wedding

A groom who allegedly strangled his wife-to-be to death ten days before they were due to get married appeared in court in Bavaria on Tuesday charged with murder.

Groom 'kills bride' ten days before wedding
Photo: DPA

The 40-year-old guest house owner from Brunn near Nuremberg went on trial on Tuesday accused of killing his 32-year-old fiancé and dumping her body in a river.

The defendant Roy E. reported his fiancé missing last June, prompting a 20-man police search. Officers found the woman's naked body in a river near Brunn five days later with strangulation marks, the Süddeutsche Zeitung reported.

The prosecution said the accused had been under psychological stress due to his failing business and the approaching wedding, and he allegedly took out his anger on his fiancé after he was unable to perform sexually with her on the evening of the murder.

Bild newspaper quoted state prosecutor Jutta Schmiedel as saying, "he felt under great pressure and put all the blame for his difficult situation on his fiancé. The upcoming wedding was a burden on him."

Two weeks after the killing Roy E. confessed, saying he definitely strangled her but did not remember disposing of the body, but later whilst in custody he retracted this, claiming instead that three to four "masked men" had killed her before forcing him to get rid of the corpse.

The prosecution maintains he committed the entire act, before attempting to cover it up with an intimate text message and a show of grief at the funeral, days before he confessed to the crime.

Bild reported the husband-to-be sent his dead fiancé a text message the day after she was killed saying "Hey, hello, where are you? I love you. Please come home. Tabea and I miss you." Tabea is the name of the couple's five-year-old daughter.

The defendant now claims that on the evening of her death he left his fiancé working on wedding preparations, took a sleeping pill and went to bed early.

However his DNA was found in a van and the driver said he gave the accused a lift on the night of the murder, near the area where the body was found.

If convicted he is likely to receive a life sentence.

But Roy E.'s lawyer told the Nuremberg court on the trial's first day: "My client will defend himself through silence."

SEE ALSO: Exchange student 'murderer' stays silent

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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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