Fresh doubts on Mannichl stabbing case

The unsolved stabbing of former Passau police chief Alois Mannichl – allegedly by a neo-Nazi – was thrown into doubt Tuesday when the public prosecutor in the case dismissed his testimony as inconsistent.

Fresh doubts on Mannichl stabbing case
Photo: DPA

In an interview with Stern magazine, senior public prosecutor Helmut Walch said Mannichl had been “not consistent during his interrogations.”

The attack, which took place just over a year ago in the Bavarian city, left the then police chief in hospital with a serious stab wound. He said he had been stabbed by a tall skinhead but doubts have since been cast on the story.

Now, for the first time, the public prosecutor is openly expressing concerns, saying Mannichl’s evidence had been mired in inconsistencies.

For instance, Mannichl initially claimed there had been no prolonged contact with the attacker, but subsequently described the attack as “considerably more intensive,” Walch said.

“There are contradictions,” he said.

Walch also criticised Mannichl over the police chief’s complaint that investigators had not taken samples from under his fingernails immediately after the attack.

“I have to take the side of the police officers regarding the fingernail samples,” said Walch.

Mannichl was a “senior police officer and he knew about the power and the evidence value of fingernails,” he said.

Yet at no time had Mannichl asked the officers why they were not taking such samples.

“If he himself didn’t see it as necessary, then you can’t now go blaming the police officers.”

Mannichl was stabbed with a 12-centimetre knife and seriously injured on his own doorstep on December 13, 2008. He said at the time the attacker had told him: “Greetings from the national resistance.”

Earlier this month, prosecutors said there were still 430 open leads in the case and that 10 investigators were working on it. They had reviewed some 3,000 clues and interviewed 2,100 people but were yet to discover who the perpetrator might have been.

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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.