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CRIME

Germany to extradite suspect in Bulgarian journalist killing: court

A German court said Friday that a man suspected of the rape and murder of Bulgarian television journalist Viktoria Marinova would be extradited to Bulgaria in the coming days.

Germany to extradite suspect in Bulgarian journalist killing: court
The regional court house of Celle. Photo: DPA

“The extradition of the accused can be expected soon,” the superior regional court in Celle near Hanover said in a statement.

It added that the 20-year-old suspect, who was arrested on Tuesday on a European warrant, had said during questioning “that he did not want to kill the victim and denied raping her”.

“The arrested man admitted to the court that he had a verbal argument with the victim on October 6th, 2018,” it said.

“He was under the strong influence of alcohol and drugs and punched the woman in the face, at which point she fell down. He then picked her up and threw her in a bush but said he then left the scene.”

Under an expedited procedure requested by prosecutors and agreed to by the accused, he must be extradited within 10 days of the court's ruling, made on Thursday.

Bulgarian prosecutors have said that the killing does not appear linked to the victim's work as a journalist.

The body of 30-year-old Marinova – who presented a current affairs talk programme called “Detector” for the small TVN television channel – was discovered on a riverside path in the northern Bulgarian town of Ruse on Saturday.

Authorities said she died from blows to the head and suffocation. She was also raped.

Bulgaria's chief prosecutor Sotir Tsatsarov named the suspect as Severin Krasimirov, born in 1997, and said he was already sought in connection with another rape and murder.

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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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