KaDeWe heist suspects released because of twin DNA

Five weeks after their arrest, Berlin police have released two suspects in the spectacular robbery of the city’s KaDeWe department store because DNA tests can’t tell the identical twins apart, daily Berliner Morgenpost reported on Thursday.

KaDeWe heist suspects released because of twin DNA
Photo: DPA

Hassan and Abbas O. were released from a Moabit district jail on Wednesday, despite the fact that police are convinced that at least one of the 27-year-olds left DNA traces at the scene of the sensational robbery from the store’s Christ jewellery shop on January 25.

“Identical twins come from the same egg, so their genetic characteristics do not differ,” Karl Sperling, head of the human genetics institute at Berlin’s Charité hospital, told the paper, adding that new techniques for determining differences are not yet accepted by courts.

The paper suggested that the twins, already known to police for their Lebanese family’s connection to the Berlin red light scene, were merely low-level accomplices in a highly organised crime. Police are still baffled as to how three masked men were able to get past motion sensors and alarms to make two trips in and out of the grand old department store with €6 million in jewellery and luxury watches.

A relative told Berliner Morgenpost that upon their release the twins were “proud of and thank the German legal system.”


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.

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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. 

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