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Fake Germanwings victim relative convicted in Cologne

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Fake Germanwings victim relative convicted in Cologne
A torn piece of metal at the crash site in 2015. Photo: DPA
16:05 CEST+02:00
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.

Pretending to be a relative of a teacher who was killed in the March 24th 2015 disaster in the French Alps, the woman travelled to France on two occasions - including once with her two children and a friend - at the expense of Lufthansa, the parent company of Germanwings.

The trips, which included several nights' stay at a luxury hotel in Marseille, were worth more than €15,000.

But investigators later found she had no links to the teacher at a high school in the western town of Haltern am See, which lost some 16 students and two teachers in the crash.

The court in Cologne had issued its ruling on Wednesday after hearing from the prosecutors, but it can still be overturned because the accused did not appear on medical grounds.

If she rejects the verdict, she can request a new hearing, the court said.

The disaster claimed the lives of 150 people, including that of the suicidal co-pilot Andreas Lubitz who deliberately slammed the plane into the French mountainside.

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