Has a German held his wife captive and abused him in eastern France for years? After an emergency call at night and an arrest in Forbach, on the Saarland border, the French judiciary is investigating a mysterious case. Police officers found the 53-year-old German without shackles. Saargem├╝nd prosecutor Olivier Glady said in the evening that they had found no clear evidence that she had been locked in the apartment.

During the night, the woman had contacted security forces in Germany – according to the broadcaster BFMTV with a stolen phone. She has been imprisoned and tortured by her husband for twelve years. A spokeswoman for the West Hesse police headquarters in Wiesbaden announced that the woman’s call was received on the White Ring victims’ phone on Sunday.

Alarmed by their German colleagues, the French police officers turned up at the couple’s apartment in the early hours of the morning, discovered the woman, took her to the hospital and arrested the man. Investigations are now underway into rape, deprivation of liberty and torture.

Allegations of worst torture ruled out?

According to prosecutor Glady, officers found the woman on a bed near a landline phone. She had no sores or bruises, and there were no traces of blood near her. No breaks were found either, which at least seems to rule out the accusation of the worst torture. There are facts about the allegation of deprivation of liberty that nuance the whole thing, Glady assessed the case.

According to the public prosecutor, the accused 55-year-old spoke of an illness that his wife had been suffering from for a long time. There was talk of cancer, and the couple’s neighbors also knew about the disease. According to Glady, the case is a move between an “absolutely terrible scenario” and unsatisfactory care for an illness. Glady emphasized that the investigation is still in its infancy.

A certain degree of caution is required in order not to be deceived by the first appearance of things in a situation that seems terrible. The investigations would have to decipher the social situation of the couple and find out how the situation that, from the woman’s point of view, meant torture, rape and imprisonment came about. However, it may take some time before the investigations bring more clarity to the mysterious case.