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CRIME

Police seek murderer of 11-year-old girl

German police are looking for a "young male, dressed in dark clothes" believed to have sexually assaulted and murdered an 11-year-old girl, who was found in a multi-story car park in Emden, northwestern Germany on Saturday night.

Police seek murderer of 11-year-old girl
Photo: DPA

“The perpetrator is still unknown,” local police spokesman Werner Brandt told a press conference on Monday. Police have not yet released further details about the young man, because relevant facts “have not yet been 100 percent verified.”

“I can say that the crime was sexually motivated,” said Brandt, adding that the exact cause of death is also yet to be disclosed, for tactical reasons.

“Our current investigations suggest the place the body was found was where she murdered,” he added.

The girl, identified as only Lena, had gone out with a boy of the same age at 5 p.m. Saturday evening to feed ducks.

The pair had cycled into the car park, adjacent to a multiplex cinema, between 5:30 p.m. and 7 p.m.

A security guard discovered Lena’s body a few hours later and alerted the emergency services, who failed in their attempts to resuscitate her.

The boy is still in shock, according to Brandt. “His testimony is still very fragmentary,” he said. It remains unclear whether he saw the murderer, or whether they had been followed. He had gone home and told his parents that she was missing, who then contacted Lena’s parents.

Police had kept the investigation secret until Monday for strategic reasons, but are now appealing for witnesses who may have seen the two children and anyone suspicious near them.

“We are at the start of our investigation,” said Brandt. Video surveillance footage from the car park is currently being inspected.

The Local/DAPD/bk

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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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