Court: German hostages have to pay for freedom

21st February 2008, Comments 0 comments

The foreign ministry is entitled to reimbursement, the ruling says.

Berlin -- Germans held hostage abroad have to pay towards the costs incurred by the government in obtaining their release, a court in Berlin ruled Thursday.

The judges said the foreign ministry was entitled to claim 12,640 euros (18,580 dollars) from a 35-year-old physiotherapist who was kidnapped in South America five years ago.

The money covered the costs of a helicopter that was used to whisk the tourist to safety from the jungles of northern Colombia where she spent 10 weeks in captivity in 2003.

An earlier court hearing ruled in the woman's favor, saying there was no legal precedent for the leveling of charges relating to the freeing of hostages.

The foreign ministry lodged an appeal with the Berlin-Brandenburg High Court, which overturned the original verdict.

DPA with Expatica

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