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CRIME

Man tries to kill wife and himself in motorway crash

A man deliberately caused an accident while driving along a motorway in an attempt to kill his wife and himself on New Year's Day. Only extremely lucky circumstances meant they both walked away unharmed, police said.

Man tries to kill wife and himself in motorway crash
Photo: DPA

The 35-year-old man intentionally turned his car into the crash barrier of the A8 motorway in the state of Baden-Württemberg during a row with his 31-year-old wife on Friday morning.

According to a police statement, the couple, who lived separately, went to a New Year’s party in a disco in the town of Pforzheim together. They left the disco early in the morning to drive home.

A row ensued in the car, during which the man is reported to have hit his wife in the face, and then asked her if she wanted to die. Before she could answer, he apparently steered the car abruptly into the crash barrier, which it slid along for over a hundred metres before coming to a stop.

“It is a miracle that neither of them were injured,” said state prosecutor Christoph Reichert.

The man denies causing the accident deliberately and that an argument took place, but the police has opened an attempted homicide investigation.

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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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