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CRIME

Ex-NPD treasurer jailed for stealing neo-Nazi party funds

The former treasurer of Germany’s far-right NPD party on Friday was sentenced to two years and eight months in jail for embezzling more than €700,000 ($976,339) in party funds.

Ex-NPD treasurer jailed for stealing neo-Nazi party funds
Kemna in the courtroom on Friday. Photo: DPA

A state court in Münster found Erwin Kemna had redirected the money from NPD accounts into his struggling kitchen studio company starting in early 2004 through the summer of 2007.

“I considered the finances of my firm and those of the party as one and the same,” Kemna said in his confession at the start of the trial.

The 57-year-old attempted to save his company from going under with the money from the NPD’s party coffers. The right-wing extremist, who has been a member of the neo-Nazi party since 1974, has already been in custody for seven months. He was guaranteed a sentence under three years for cooperating with the prosecution.

NPD Secretary General Peter Marx said he hoped the party would now be able to recoup some of the funds. The German government once tried to ban the party as unconstitutional, but failed due to technicalities. The NPD still receives government funding available to all major political parties.

CRIME

Driver in Bavaria gets €5,000 fine for giving the finger to speed camera

A driver in Passau has been hit with a €5,000 fine because he was caught by traffic police giving the middle finger.

Driver in Bavaria gets €5,000 fine for giving the finger to speed camera

The district court of Passau sentenced the 53-year-old motorist to the fine after he was caught making the rude gesture in the direction of the speedometer last August on the A3 near the Donautal Ost service area, reported German media. 

The man was not caught speeding, however. According to traffic police who were in the speed camera vehicle at the time, another driver who had overtaken the 53-year-old was over the speed limit. 

When analysing the photo, the officers discovered the slower driver’s middle finger gesture and filed a criminal complaint.

The driver initially filed an objection against a penalty order, and the case dragged on for several months. However, he then accepted the complaint. He was sentenced to 50 ‘unit fines’ of €100 on two counts of insulting behaviour, amounting to €5,000.

READ ALSO: The German rules of the road that are hard to get your head around

In a letter to police, the man said he regretted the incident and apologised. 

Police said it was “not a petty offence”, and that the sentence could have been “even more drastic”.

People who give insults while driving can face a prison sentences of up to a year.

“Depending on the nature and manner of the incident or in the case of persons with a previous conviction, even a custodial sentence without parole may be considered for an insult,” police in Passau said. 

What does the law say?

Showing the middle finger to another road user in road traffic is an offence in Germany under Section 185 of the Criminal Code (StGB). It’s punishable by a prison sentence of up to one year or a fine.

People can file a complaint if someone shows them the middle finger in road traffic, but it usually only has a chance of success if witnesses can prove that it happened.

As well as the middle finger, it can also be an offence to verbally insult someone. 

READ ALSO: The German road signs that confuse foreigners

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