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CRIME

Afghan gets life term for killing Christian mother in southern Bavaria

A German court in Traunstein on Friday handed a life term to an Afghan asylum seeker who stabbed to death a compatriot mother-of-four because she had converted to Christianity.

Afghan gets life term for killing Christian mother in southern Bavaria
The site of the murder in Prien am Chiemsee. Photo: DPA

The 30-year-old, who was not named by authorities, murdered the woman in front of two of her children outside a supermarket in the southern city of Prien am Chiemsee last April. She was stabbed 16 times.

Prosecutors told the court in the town of Traunstein that the accused was furious because she had turned her back on the Islamic faith.

The 38-year-old woman had earlier asked the man if he wanted to convert too, a request that was “irreconcilable with his Muslim faith,” prosecutors said during the trial.

The accused's lawyer had asked the judges to show leniency, saying his client had had a difficult life and was exposed to violence from a young age, according to DPA news agency.

The suspect apologised to the victim's family in his final remarks in court.

In Germany, a life sentence means a convict can apply for parole after spending 15 years behind bars. But in this case the judges highlighted the “gravity” of the crime, meaning the accused is unlikely to be considered for early release, DPA reported.

Two of the woman's children, aged five and 11, watched as the man 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.

He will likely be deported after serving his sentence.

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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