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CRIME

Cop faces charges for punching woman

German state prosecutors filed on Wednesday charges against a policeman who punched a woman in the face, breaking her nose and eye socket while she was at a Munich police station in January.

Cop faces charges for punching woman
Photo: DPA

The 33-year-old policeman claimed he was acting in self-defence but admitted the 23-year-old woman was handcuffed at the time.

The woman called the police for help after a fight with her boyfriend got out of hand on Regerplatz in the Au district of Munich on January 20th. According to her lawyer Franz J. Erlmeier, the woman attempted to call her mother on the way to the station but was told by police that this was not allowed.

Reports differ about what happened on the way to the station. The police claim they restrained and handcuffed the woman after she hit and kicked them, refused to wear a seatbelt and called them “sons of whores.”

Erlmeier, on the other hand, said “police took the woman’s mobile phone away and pushed her to the floor of the police van, before handcuffing her,” adding that “she panicked and could hardly breathe.”

At the police station, officers put her in a cell “to calm her down,” according to police press spokesman Reinhold Bergmann.

Four officers then restrained her on a bench with her hands still cuffed behind her back, according to the woman. She resisted and spat in the face of the unnamed 33-year-old officer, who later said he saw her head move as if she was about to head-butt him, and punched her in the face to protect himself.

The blow broke her nose and eye socket. Erlmeier says the policeman used excessive force.

Four days after the incident, an investigation, which lasted four months, was initiated by the state prosecutor, who after reviewing the reports, doubted the officer’s claim that he had acted in self-defence.

The woman claims an officer filmed the whole incident on his mobile phone – evidence which could be key to the investigation – but the police deny any such video exists.

If found guilty, the policeman could face up to five years in prison. If a sentence of six months or more is imposed, he could lose the right to hold public office. The woman is being investigated herself on suspicion of attempted assault, and insulting behaviour towards police officers.

The Local/kkf

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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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