German doctor Dieter Krombach retried for murder of Kalinka Bamberski
Published 29/03/2011 | 15:00
A Frenchman who had a German doctor kidnapped so he could be tried in France for murdering his teenage daughter 29 years ago has said he hopes justice will finally be done ahead of his trial on Tuesday.
Dieter Krombach, 75, a suave cardiologist who treated diplomats, was convicted of manslaughter in France in 1995 for poisoning Kalinka Bamberski, his French girlfriend's teenage daughter, in 1982.
France issued an international warrant for his arrest but Germany refused to extradite him as it had already dismissed the case in 1987 due to lack of evidence.
In desperation, the deceased girl's father, André Bamberski, had Dr Krombach kidnapped in Germany.
He was smuggled him into France and dumped, bound and gagged, outside a court in the eastern French town of Mulhouse in 2009.
New testimonies and evidence have led to a retrial for murder.
On Monday, Mr Bamberski said he was "serene and combative" as he prepared to come face to face in court with the man he spent almost three decades tracking.
"This trial will relieve me," he said. "But I respect the presumption of innocence."
The events date back to July 1982, when Mr Bamberski's daughter – aged 14 at the time – died suddenly at Dr Krombach's home in Lindau, southwestern Germany, after a day windsurfing on Lake Constance.
She had received a mystery injection before her death. The doctor said he had injected her to help her "get a suntan", then changed his version saying he had treated her for anaemia.
Despite the discovery of mysterious "viscous white and red fluids" on the girl's underwear and legs and a pinprick on her arm, German coroners concluded she had died of natural causes.
But her father refused to accept the decision and filed for charges in France, where magistrates found evidence suggesting she may have been raped and drugged.
Dr Krombach was allegedly present during the initial autopsy and when French experts carried out their own examination in 1983, they discovered her genitalia had been inexplicably removed.
In Germany in 1996, Dr Krombach received a 2-year suspended sentence for raping a 16-year old girl in his medical surgery after drugging her, and a two-year ban from practicing his profession.
When interviewed about the case he said: "I don't say she was enthusiastic but I believed she was consenting."
Since his kidnapping and arrest in France, two other German women have come forward with testimonies alleging that he drugged them via injections and raped them as teenagers in the 1980s.
In 2006, he received a 28-month prison sentence in Germany for illegally practicing his profession despite a ban.
Mr Bamberski had him kidnapped shortly after his release.
"I now expect a fair trial," said Mr Bamberski, 73.
The one thing he said had increased his suffering over the years was the refusal of Kalinka's mother press for charges against Doctor Krombach. But finally, Danielle Gonnin, 65, is "no longer convinced of his innocence" and will attend as a civil plaintiff in the trial.
Dr Krombach's lawyers will seek to suspend the trial, arguing that it is for "German justice" to try him. They will seek to take his case to the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg.