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CRIME

Ingolstadt hostage taker gets eight years

A man who took four people hostage in a day-long standoff at Ingolstadt city hall was sentenced to more than eight years in prison on Monday.

Ingolstadt hostage taker gets eight years
The assailant in court. Photo: DPA

In August 2013, the 25-year-old homeless man entered city hall armed with a knife and a fake gun. Four people were taken hostage, among them was deputy mayor Sepp Mißbleck.

Mißbleck was among those first released.

Police were called to the building at 9.00am that day and at 5.50pm, stormed the building with a commando unit, finally arresting the man after shooting him in the shoulder and hand. None of the victims were physically harmed.

PHOTO GALLERY: Hostage drama in Ingolstadt

The assailant was already known to police. He had stalked one of the hostages, Mißbleck's assistant, for years prior, verbally and physically assaulting her in the process.

As a result, the man was banned from city hall after the assistant took out a restraining order against him.

He testified in court that he had intended to get an apology from officials for the ban.

During sentencing, the prosecutor demanded 10.5 years prison, while the defence argued for 6.5. The defendant himself asked for a seven year sentence, the Bayerischer Rundfunk reported.

The judge decided for a lesser sentence due to the perpetrator's diminished responsibility. Court-ordered psychiatric evaluations found that the man had a personality disorder. He had already been in the care of a psychologist at the time of the crime.  

Angela Merkel also cancelled a campaign rally planned for Ingolstadt on the same day, though police said there had been no connection between the Chancellor's plans and the incident.

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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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