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CRIME

Child abuse victim rescued hours after police publish her picture

In an unusual attempt to find a child abuse victim and arrest her abuser, police released pictures of the girl online. They did not expect success to come so quickly, but the child and her abuser were identified on the very same day.

Child abuse victim rescued hours after police publish her picture
Photo: DPA

On Monday morning a campaign was launched to find a four-year-old girl who was the victim of child abuse. The campaign was ordered by the court of Giessen at the request of the Federal Office of Criminal Investigation, or 'Bundeskriminalamt' (BKA), and the Frankfurt district attorney's office.

The police discovered the pornographic recordings online in June 2017 but, due to the anonymous nature of the dark web, efforts to identify either the child or her abuser were not initially successful.

Photos of the victim's face were released with a plea for anyone who recognised her to get in contact with the police. The photos were taken from pornographic videos which her abuser had filmed and then uploaded to the dark web.

According to the BKA press release, they received many tip-offs from the population, one of which lead to the identification of both the suspect and the victim, just hours after the pictures were released.

A 24-year-old man from Lower Saxony was then taken into custody on Monday evening. The suspect was reportedly known to the victim's family.

The accused is believed to have sexually abused the child several times between October 2016 and July 2017 and uploaded videos of the abuse, reported DPA.

“The girl was examined by a police psychologist and now is once again in the care of her parents”, Georg Ungefuk, senior prosecutor in Frankfurt am Main, told Bild.

The highly unusual decision to release pictures of the girl's face was a last resort for the police, who feared that the child was still at risk of abuse.

It was “the last measure to identify the perpetrator. We only resort to it if all other possibilities have not led to the goal,” said Ungefuk.

As the child's safety has now been ensured, the BKA requested in a Facebook post that all pictures of the four-year-old be pulled from news sites to protect the girl's privacy.

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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