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Convicted German man 'kidnapped'

Undated reproduction picture of German doctor, Dieter Krombach
Krombach was found guilty in absentia of Kalinka's manslaughter in 1995

A German doctor convicted over the death of his step-daughter nearly 30 years ago was found tied up outside a French court house, police say.

Dieter Krombach, 74, was allegedly kidnapped in Germany and found in the French border town of Mulhouse, after an anonymous phone call to police.

Krombach was investigated in both France and Germany, but only a French court found him guilty of manslaughter.

The girl's father was arrested on suspicion of organising the kidnapping.

Frenchman Andre Bamberski, 75, has sought Krombach's extradition as part of a long-running campaign.

He was arrested on Sunday after being suspected by police of having organised the doctor's kidnapping.

A judicial enquiry was opened Tuesday to establish Mr Bamberski's involvement.

Russian connections

The local prosecutor in Mulhouse, Jean-Pierre Alacchi, says Mr Bamberski has now been released on bail, having admitted no wrongdoing.

Although Mr Alacchi told reporters the authorities have proof that Mr Bamberski had been in contact with the suspected kidnappers.

The doctor was bundled into a car outside his home in Germany by men who spoke Russian, Krombach's lawyers say.

He was found bound and gagged, and bleeding from a head injury outside the French courthouse.

Andre Bamberski does not want revenge, he wants justice. He has been fighting for 25 years and maybe he felt the case was dying off.
Robert Pince
Justice for Kalinka

Mr Bamberski has always accused Krombach of having raped and killed his then 14-year-old daughter, Kalinka, in the summer of 1982 while she was holidaying with her mother at Krombach's home at Lake Constance, southern Germany.

The doctor has always asserted the girl's death was an accident, after she complained she was not getting a suntan and he offered to inject her with an iron-based solution meant to help.

He later changed his statement to say the injection was meant to assist with Kalinka's anaemia.

A court in Germany ruled that Krombach could not be held responsible for the death, but in 1995 a court in Paris found the doctor guilty of manslaughter and sentenced him in absentia to 15 years in prison.

A European arrest warrant was issued in France during 2004, but a court in Munich rejected its validity last year, arguing that the earlier legal investigation in Germany had found Krombach not guilty due to a lack of evidence.

Archive picture shows Frenchman Andre Bamberski, centre, father of Kalinka, staging a protest action in front of the German consulate in Toulouse, Southern France (7 Feb 2002)
Andre Bamberski, centre, alleges Krombach murdered and raped Kalinka

The head of campaign group Justice for Kalinka, Robert Pince, said Mr Bamberski had "devoted all his time, his energy and his money" to seeking justice for his daughter.

"Andre Bamberski does not want revenge, he wants justice," Mr Pince added.

"He has been fighting for 25 years and maybe he felt the case was dying off. He may have wanted to... stir things up."

Krombach, who is currently being held in a French prison, is expected to face a re-trial.

Krombach's lawyers are seeking his release, saying their client was a victim of kidnapping in Germany and has suffered serious facial injuries.



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