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Doctor jailed over step-daughter’s death

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Summary of story from BBC News, October 23, 2011

A retired German doctor has been sentenced to 15 years in prison by a French court for unintentionally killing his stepdaughter nearly 30 years ago.

Kalinka Bamberski was only 14 years old when she died in July 1982 in Lindau, Bavaria, where she had been spending her summer holiday with her mother and stepfather, Dieter Krombach.

Over the years, the case has divided French and German investigators.

Krombach, 76, was originally cleared by a German court that decided the death was accidental.

However, after a post mortem examination of Bamberski’s body uncovered further evidence, Krombach was then convicted of manslaughter. Following this, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that Krombach had been denied a fair hearing and had the right to appeal.

In his latest trial in Paris, Krombach was found guilty of drugging his stepdaughter and causing her to die of suffocation.

Krombach maintains that he never hurt Bamberski, claiming that he had given her an iron injection, apparently to help improve her suntan.

The girl’s biological father, Andre Bamberski, welcomed the verdict claiming that, now justice has been done in her memory, he will be able to mourn for her.

Ever since his daughter’s death, Mr Bamberski remained convinced of Krombach’s guilt and was accused of abducting him in October 2009. The doctor was left bound and beaten outside the prosecutor’s office in Mullhouse, close to the German border.

Yves Levano, Krombach’s attorney, claimed that the verdict was “unacceptable” and an appeal against it would be filed immediately.

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