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CRIME

Drink-driver stuns police by confessing to 25-year-old murder

A German man caught for drink-driving twice in one night surprised police by confessing to a murder he committed a quarter of a century ago, authorities said on Thursday.

Drink-driver stuns police by confessing to 25-year-old murder
The Bonn state prosecutor's office. Photo: DPA.

The 52-year-old was taken to a police station about a week ago after repeatedly being caught at the wheel while over the legal alcohol limit, they said.

The man, who had no previous criminal record, then surprised officers by telling them he had stabbed to death a 38-year-old woman in November 1991 in Bonn, North Rhine-Westphalia state.

He told police that as a 26-year-old student, having long had “violent and homicidal fantasies”, he had rung the woman's doorbell, entered her home, handcuffed her and, when she screamed, repeatedly stabbed her.

Police and prosecutors, after reopening the file on the long unsolved murder, believe details the man gave in his confession suggest he is telling the truth.

Investigators are also checking whether the man, who now lives in Lower Saxony state, may have committed other crimes.

The man himself had seemed not entirely clear on why he had spontaneously confessed to the killing, police said.

He had merely told police that he had lost hope as the drink-driving offences would cost him his job.

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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