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CRIME

Mayor goes underground after neo-Nazi death threat

The mayor of a small town in the eastern German state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania has gone into hiding after a death threat was posted on a far-right extremist internet site.

Mayor goes underground after neo-Nazi death threat
Photo: DPA

Hans-Peter Gossel, mayor of Warin, told the regional daily Ostsee Zeitung that he felt “left on his own” despite police protection and was therefore leaving town for “a few days.”

The death threat was posted a few days after the suspected neo-Nazi stabbing of Passau police chief Alois Mannichl. The post, which has since been taken off the site, said that Gossel “was available” as then next victim.

Gossel has apparently sparked the ire of the far-right by opposing the purchase of a house in Warin. The town officials feared a suspected extremist group wanted to set up an educational centre to help gain a foothold in the region.

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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