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Crime

Vigilante father receives verdict in French-German kidnapping trial

A French court has convicted a man of seeking to avenge the 1982 death of his daughter by ordering the cross-border kidnapping of a German citizen. The ruling has brought to a close his 30-year mission.

Deutscher Arzt bleibt in Frankreich in Haft

On Wednesday a court in the eastern French town of Mulhouse gave Frenchman Andre Bamberski (76) a suspended one-year sentence for the 2009 abduction of German physician, Dieter Krombach (79).

Bamberski was found guilty of hiring henchmen to kidnap Krombach, whom he suspected of having murdered his daughter Kalinka in 1982.

At the time of her death, 14-year-old Kalinka was living at the home of her step-father, Krombach, in the southwest German town of Lindau. She lived there along with her mother and brother.

German investigators found needle marks on Kalinka's arms, along with signs of rape. However, prosecutors lacked the necessary evidence to convict Krombach of murder and thus discontinued the case.

Fifteen years later, a German court convicted Krombach of drugging and raping a 16-year-old patient in similar circumstances.

Thereafter, Bamberski, Kalinka's biological father, became convinced of Krombach's guilt.

In 2009, Bamberski organized the kipnapping of Krombach so that he could stand trial in France. Krombach was found bound and gagged near the local courthouse in Mulhouse, but was allowed to return to Germany.

In 2011, a French court reopened the trial and convicted Krombach of Kalinka's death in absentia. He was sentenced to 15 years in prison. However, Germany refused to extradite him due to a lack of evidence.

In April 2014, France's top court confirmed its earlier conviction of Krombach for "deliberate violence leading to involuntary death" and his 15-year prison sentence.

At an oral hearing in May, a French prosecutor also commended Bamberski's "courage and perseverance"; however, this did not prevent Wednesday's sentencing.

as/rg (AFP, DPA, AP)

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