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CRIME

Husband arrested for burning wife to death on street

A 41-year-old man had been detained on suspicion of murder, after he is believed to have set fire to his wife on a street in the northern town of Kiel on Wednesday.

Husband arrested for burning wife to death on street
Photo: DPA

“We think it's clear in this case that malevolence and brutality, both requisites for a murder charge, exist,” said state prosecutor Axel Bieler on Thursday.

Ambulance crews took the severely burned woman to hospital on Wednesday morning after pedestrians found her on a street on the outskirts of Kiel. She was taken to a specialist clinic shortly afterwards, but later died from her injuries.

Soon after, her 41-year-old husband was arrested.

The man and woman, both originally from Togo, had lived in Germany for around 20 years with permit residency status, police report.

Authorities added that they believe the motive for the crime was a relationship dispute between the husband and wife, who lived separately from one another.

The Kieler Nachrichten reports that he man poured fuel over his wife before setting her alight. Police sources told the newspaper that a “fire accelerant” had been used.

The paper also spoke to witnesses who said that the woman ran down the street away from the suspect as flames rose from her body. Several people attempted to put out the fire, but struggled to do so.

The suspect's trousers also reportedly caught alight. But he was able to put out the flames before fleeing into a nearby industrial area.

Police say they are questioning several witnesses in order to establish the course of events.

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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