Woman who posed as Germanwings relative convicted of fraud

A German court has convicted of fraud a woman accused of posing as a cousin of a victim of last year's Germanwings crash and flying to France twice at parent company Lufthansa's expense.

The Cologne district court was notified shortly before the woman's trial was to start Wednesday that she was in a hospital, news agency dpa reported. The court decided to issue an order of punishment giving her a one-year suspended sentence.

In Germany, defendants have two weeks to decide whether to accept such orders. If they don't, the case goes to trial.

Lufthansa flew victims' relatives to the crash site after Germanwings Flight 9525 smashed into a French mountainside. Prosecutors say the 35-year-old defendant took two trips at a cost to the company of 16,000 euros ($17,400), staying at an upscale hotel and traveling with an acquaintance — as well as, on one trip, her two children.