Germany can't bill hostage for release: court

4th April 2006, Comments 0 comments

4 April 2006, BERLIN - A Berlin court ruled Tuesday that the government cannot bill Germans abducted while abroad for costs incurred in obtaining their release.

4 April 2006

BERLIN - A Berlin court ruled Tuesday that the government cannot bill Germans abducted while abroad for costs incurred in obtaining their release.

The case was brought by a physiotherapist Reinhilt Weigel, who was held captive by left-wing rebels for 10 weeks in northern Colombia.

The foreign ministry sent her a bill for 12,640 euros (15,282 dollars) for the helicopter flight that was used to whisk her to safety from the jungle.

One of the demands of the kidnappers was that a helicopter be used to evacuate the woman.

The court ruled that German laws governing consular matters made no provision for a reimbursement of expenses in such cases.

Weigel was among a group of eight tourists seized by the National Liberation Army (ELN) while on a trekking holiday in September 2003.

DPA

Subject: German news

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