The following translated from a report published today by the German news magazine Focus [link in German]:
At the time of her liberation, Susanne Osthoff had a part of the ransom [paid for her release] on her person. Focus has learned that employees of the Germany Embassy in Baghdad discovered several thousand dollars. They found bundles of bills held together with rubber bands in Osthoff’s clothes as the archaeologist was taking a shower in the Embassy.
When officers of the Federal Crime Bureau [BKA – the equivalent of the American FBI] checked the serial numbers on the bills, they found that they corresponded to the ransom money paid by the federal government….
Diplomats from the Embassy immediately informed the task force [for the Osthoff case] assembled by the Foreign Office in Berlin. There, Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier (SPD) is supposed to have ordered that “absolutely secrecy” be maintained in the matter. Officially, the government has neither confirmed nor denied the payment of any ransom in the Osthoff case.
- January 21st, 2006
- Tags: Susanne Osthoff