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CRIME

Passau police chief released from hospital

Almost a week after what appears to have been a revenge attack by neo-Nazis, Passau police chief Alois Mannichl was released from the hospital on Friday.

Passau police chief released from hospital
Photo: DPA

“We can’t let ourselved be afraid of these right-wing extremists,” he said in a short statement to press where he thanked the public for its support, adding that the attempt on his life was “cowardly.”

Meanwhile, Chancellor Angela Merkel made a statement for the first time about the stabbing. “When an official of our state or other people are attacked by right-wing extremists, then the attack is on us all,” she told daily Passauer Neue Presse on Friday, adding that the threat needs to be taken seriously everywhere, not just in Passau.

Mannichl answered his front door on Saturday to a tall skinhead at around 5:30 pm. The man said something along the lines of, “Greetings from the national resistance,” and said, “You leftist pig cop, you won’t trample on the graves of our comrades any more,” before stabbing Mannichl in the stomach with a 12-centimetre knife.

He then threw the knife away in the garden and ran to a waiting car in a nearby street and was driven away. The 52-year-old police chief was seriously wounded in the attack and is now recovering from the attack.

Police this week picked up a 33-year-old man and 22-year-old woman who are suspected of helping the attacker.

Police also released a new description of the suspect, whom they believe to be part of the Bavarian neo-Nazi scene. The man is thought to be between 25 and 35 years old, approximately 1.90 metres tall, and speaks with a Bavarian accent that could possibly have an Austrian lilt.

Far-right resentment in the region against the police reached a high point this July after the authorities ordered that the grave of a former neo-Nazi functionary be opened so that a Nazi flag that had been buried with the coffin, be removed.

An email exchange received by Spiegel Online on Friday suggested that the NPD has had Mannichl in its sights for over a year. According to the magazine’s exclusive report, a Passau NPD member wrote to party headquarters for advice in dealing with Mannichl.

The reply, sent on May 16, 2007 by Frank Schwerdt, a right-hand man of NPD leader Udo Voigt, said, “If anything meaningful is to be done against your beloved police chief Mannichl, it should be very carefully prepared and executed.”

Schwerdt claimed Friday that he had been referring to the collection of facts for a possible legal case against Mannichl.

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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