The German government may have paid around five million dollars for the release of a hostage in Iraq. Press reports have attributed the news to security sources in Berlin. Suggestions that a ransom was received for Susanne Osthoff are likely to embarrass the government which always insists it does not pay to have its citizens freed. Osthoff was released on December 18th after three weeks in captivity. The kidnappers demanded Germany stop helping the Iraqi administration. The freelance archaeologist and aid worker has not returned to her native country.