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AFGHANISTAN

Trial starts of Afghan accused of killing woman for converting to Christianity

An Afghan asylum seeker went on trial in southern Germany on Tuesday accused of stabbing to death a compatriot mother-of-four because he was furious she had converted to Christianity.

Trial starts of Afghan accused of killing woman for converting to Christianity
The unnamed defendant in court on Tuesday. Photo: DPA

Prosecutors charge that the 30-year-old, who was not named by authorities, murdered the woman in front of two of her children because she had turned her back on the Islamic faith.

The Muslim man allegedly used a 20-centimetre bladed knife to slash and stab the Afghan woman 16 times outside a supermarket in the southern city of Prien on Chiemsee lake on April 29th last year.

The case came at a time when the German public is torn over a mass influx of more than one million refugees and migrants since 2015, many from conflict-torn Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.

The 38-year-old woman had earlier asked the man whether he wanted to convert too, a request that was “irreconcilable with his Muslim faith,” prosecutors told the court in the city of Traunstein.

Two of the woman's children, aged five and 11, watched as the man allegedly killed their mother. Her two other children are adults.

Passers-by tried to stop the attacker by hurling a shopping trolley at him.

After his arrest, the man claimed he had acted out of frustration about his looming deportation as a rejected asylum seeker.

He was initially held in a psychiatric ward for about three months and then transferred to standard pre-trial detention.

The court has scheduled four days of hearings.

Homicide carries a life term under German law, although convicts are usually released after 15 years.

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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