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CRIME

Trial starts of mother, stepfather who pimped out young son online

A mother and stepfather charged with selling their young boy online for sex went on trial in southern Germany on Monday, in a case that police say is one of the most atrocious they have investigated.

Trial starts of mother, stepfather who pimped out young son online
The mother of the boy in court in Freiburg. Photo: DPA

Berrin T., 48, and Christian L., 39, also stand accused at he district court in Freiburg of rape, aggravated sexual assault of children, forced prostitution and distribution of child pornography.

They are accused of having sexually assaulted the boy – who is now nine – as well as pimping him on the so-called darknet for more than two years.

Beyond a conviction and prison sentence, prosecutors are seeking preventive detention of the two due to the seriousness of the alleged crimes.

The stepfather has a previous conviction for paedophilia.

The case came to light following an anonymous tip last September, and led to the arrest of eight people who have been charged with belonging to an online paedophile ring.

Two of those arrested have since been convicted.

During the trial of the related cases, the stepfather admitted on the witness stand to the assaults on the boy.

He also made serious accusations against the boy's mother, who has so far been silent in court.

“I hope, even if this is unrealistic, that the boy’s mother will provide an explanation as to her motivation,” lawyer Katja Ravat, who is representing the abused child, said.

Ravat added that she wanted to be able to tell the boy “that the man [his step father] will not be let out of prison at any point in the foreseeable future.”

The boy is now living with a foster family.

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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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