Mon, Oct 24, 2011 - Page 6 News List

Kidnapped German convicted in death of stepdaughter

AP, PARIS

A Paris criminal court on Saturday convicted a retired German doctor in the 1982 death of his 15-year-old stepdaughter in a decades-long cross-border battle for justice by the girl’s father.

The court handed down a 15-year prison sentence to Dieter Krombach — who was kidnapped in 2009 and brought to France on the orders of the victim’s French biological father who wanted him tried.

Yves Levano, an attorney for the 76-year-old former cardiologist, said an appeal of this “unacceptable” decision would be filed immediately.

The conviction was the culmination of a battle between Krombach and the father of the victim, Andre Bamberski, who believed the doctor gave his daughter Kalinka a dangerous injection so he could rape her.

Krombach had been suspended from practicing medicine in Germany after he was convicted in 1997 by a German court of drugging and raping a 16-year-old girl in his office.

The German court gave him a two-year suspended sentence, but in the case of Kalinka, it refused to extradite him to France or file charges, saying evidence was insufficient.

France convicted Krombach in absentia in 1995 of “intentional violence that led to unintentional death” and sentenced him to 15 years in prison — and the court convicted him on those charges a second time on Saturday.

The Paris court cited aggravating circumstances, the age of the youth and his authority over Kalinka, who lived in his home with her mother, divorced from Bamberski and now from Krombach, too.

In a final plea, Krombach had said “I never hurt Kalinka.”

The girl died in her bed at Krombach’s home in July 1982.

Kalinka’s father had made it his life’s work to bring the doctor to justice, hiring lawyers in France and Germany and finally arranging to have him kidnapped, tied up and placed near the courthouse in the eastern French city of Mulhouse in 2009. Kidnapping charges are pending against Bamberski.

The trial reopened on Oct. 4 after being suspended in April because of Krombach’s heart problems.

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