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French father found guilty of kidnapping German suspected of killing daughter

André Bamberski at Krombach's trial
André Bamberski at Krombach's trial Reuters/Charles Platiau

A Frenchman who organised the kidnapping of the man he held responsible for his daughter’s death so that he could be jailed in France was given a one-year suspended sentence by an Alsace court on Wednesday.


A court in Mulhouse, eastern France, found André Bamberski, 76, guilty of kidnapping German cardiologist Dieter Krombach but not guilty of complicity in violence in a case that has made headlines in France since police found Krombach bound and gagged on a street in the town in 2009.

Krombach, 79, who is currently in prison in Paris, was not in court for health reasons.

Krombach, who had married Bamberski’s ex-wife, Danielle Gonnin, was found guilty in absentia by a French court of the manslaughter of Gonnin’s and Bamberski’s daughter, Kalinka, when she was staying with him in 1982.

In 2001 the European Court of Human Rights found that Krombach’s trial in France had not been fair, principally because no defence had been allowed in his absence at one hearing.

But in 2009 he was living free in Germany where the case against him had been dropped, although he had been found guilty of raping a 16-year-old patient under anaesthetic and practising without a licence after being struck off.

Bamberski has now been found guilty of commissioning a Kosovar, Anton Krasniqi, and a Georgian, Kacha Bablovani, to kidnap him and bring him to France where he later faced trial again and was found guilty again.

Krasniqi and Bablovani have both been jailed for two years for carrying out the kidnapping.

Bamberski declared himself “a bit disappointed” because the court had not found that head acted under “moral constraint” and let him off but had already said that he would take the case no further.

Krombach’s lawyers say they will take the case to the European court again.

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