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CRIME

Man and woman arrested in neo-Nazi police stabbing

A man and woman arrested on Tuesday night in the attempted neo-Nazi murder on Passau police chief Alois Mannichl are not suspects, authorities told German radio station B5.

Man and woman arrested in neo-Nazi police stabbing
Photo: DPA

Instead police are hoping to learn the whereabouts of the stabbing suspect from them, senior public prosecutor Helmut Walch told the station.

A tip about a car licence plate seen near the crime scene led police to the man and a woman – both thought to be involved in far-right extremist activities – in Lower Bavaria. Both are from Munich.

Investigators revealed that the man and woman had both been present at the Passau burial of Nazi Friedhelm Busse this summer. Police have created tension with far-right groups in the region after they had Busse exhumed to remove an illegal Nazi flag that a witness saw buried with him.

Two male suspects in the stabbing arrested earlier this week were released when they were able to provide convincing alibis and did not match DNA traces left at the crime scene Walch said. Mannichl also did not recognize photos of the 26 and 27-year-old suspects.

These two suspects were arrested not far from 52-year-old Mannichl’s home near Passau, where he was found slumped on his porch with stab wounds to his abdomen.

Local newspaper Am Sonntag reported Mannichl answered his front door on Saturday to a tall skinhead at around 5:30 pm. The man said something along the lines of “Greetings from the national resistance,” and said, “You leftist pig cop, you won’t trample on the graves of our comrades any more,” before stabbing Mannichl in the stomach with a 12-centimetre knife.

He then threw the knife away in the garden and ran to a waiting car in a nearby street and was driven away.

Senior public prosecutor Walch said Monday afternoon that the knife used in the attack belonged to Mannichl, who had apparently used it earlier to cut Lebkuchen Christmas sweets at a neighbour’s party. He left the knife on his porch afterwards. Walch said police were not ruling out a premeditated crime, though.

Mannichl was seriously wounded, but is now recovering after an operation.

Bavarian State Premier Horst Seehofer said on Sunday evening that this “new dimension” of right-wing extremist violence required a “new and very clear and hard answer from the state.”

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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