• Germany's news in English
German court rejects payout for Afghan airstrike victims
Archive photo of an Afghan victim of the NATO airstrikes targeting Taliban militants in Kunduz in 2009. Photo: EPA.

German court rejects payout for Afghan airstrike victims

AFP/DPA/The Local · 6 Oct 2016, 16:12

Published: 06 Oct 2016 16:11 GMT+02:00
Updated: 06 Oct 2016 16:12 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The Federal Court of Justice found against a father who was seeking €40,000 after the death of two of his children, and a widowed mother-of-six claiming €50,000.

In the September 2009 bombing, US planes hit two fuel tankers stolen by Taliban insurgents, killing about 100 people - including many civilians - near the northern city of Kunduz.

The German commander, then-colonel Georg Klein, had called in the night-time strike after an informant had repeatedly claimed that no civilians were near the tankers.

Klein, who was later promoted to the rank of general, had feared that Taliban fighters could use the tankers as mobile bombs against a German military camp.

The court rejected the claim that Klein bore liability for a negligent act while on official duty. It found that he had exhausted all reasonable means of seeking to verify that no civilians were present.

"The military decision that was taken was valid under international law," lead judge Ulrich Herrmann stated in the ruling.

The lawyer for the victims, Karim Popal said he wants to take the case to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.

After the tragedy, the German parliament described the strike as "one of the most serious incidents involving the German military since the Second World War".

The German government has argued the airstrike came under NATO command and could not be blamed on Berlin alone.
Story continues below…

It has already paid out $5,000 each to families affected by the raid, stressing that the money was not compensation but humanitarian aid.

Germany has been the third-largest contributor to NATO forces in Afghanistan behind the United States and Britain.

For more news from Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

AFP/DPA/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Eurowings cabin crew union to strike all day Thursday
Photo: DPA.

UPDATE: A union representing cabin crews on Lufthansa's budget airline Eurowings has announced that strikes will last all day Thursday as ongoing contract negotiations continue to falter.

Hesse hopes to set example by building Iraqi orphanages
Refugee children in northern Iraq. Photo: DPA

The wealthy central German state of Hesse has set aside €1 million to build a school, family homes and an orphanage in northern Iraq, in an effort to help refugees there.

The Local List
10 German clichés that foreigners get very wrong
David Hasselhoff. Photo: DPA

Whether it be efficiency, humourlessness or a love of a certain Baywatch star, there are many cliches stuck in the heads of foreigners about Germany. But how true are they?

Fake Germanwings victim relative convicted in Cologne
A torn piece of metal at the crash site in 2015. Photo: DPA

A German court on Wednesday gave a woman a year's suspended jail sentence for posing as the cousin of a victim in last year's Germanwings plane crash and obtaining compensation offered by the airline.

Couple accused of torturing, murdering women go on trial
The so-called 'house of horrors' in Höxter where the couple allegedly tortured and killed women. Photo: DPA.

A couple accused of luring women to their village home with personal ads started trial on Wednesday over charges that they tortured and killed at least two of their victims.

After July attacks, govt drafts new video surveillance law
Photo: DPA

The Interior Ministry is drafting a law which will enable public spaces to be filmed for surveillance purposes as a reaction to deadly attacks in July, according to a newspaper report.

Merkel: murky internet giants distort perception of reality
Angela Merkel. Photo: DPA.

Chancellor Angela Merkel called on Tuesday for internet giants to make public their closely-guarded algorithms, claiming that they are not giving people diverse enough information.

Pegida leader 'paid court costs with group's money'
Pegida leader Lutz Bachmann. Photo: DPA.

The leader of the anti-Islam movement reportedly used money from Pegida's coffers to pay for two personal court cases, German media reported this week.

Anger as Berlin scraps Turkey concert on Armenia genocide
The Dresden Symphony Orchestra. Photo: DPA

Germany's foreign ministry Tuesday scrapped a planned symphony performance on the Armenian "genocide" in its Istanbul consulate, sparking accusations that it was caving in to Turkish pressure.

Obama to visit Berlin in last presidential trip to Germany
President Barack Obama and Chancellor Angela Merkel during a Berlin trip in 2013. Photo: DPA.

The White House announced on Tuesday that US President Barack Obama will be paying one last unexpected visit to the German capital - his last before he leaves office.

10 ways German completely messes up your English
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Germany's 10 most weird and wonderful landmarks
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd