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CRIME

Case of dead infants likely to go unsolved

The case of four dead babies found last week in Berlin’s Charlottenburg district will likely never be solved, daily Berliner Zeitung reported on Monday.

Case of dead infants likely to go unsolved
The apartment building where the dead infants were found. Photo: DPA

According to a source within the state office of criminal investigation, the remains found hidden in an ottoman last Wednesday are too decayed for accurate forensic testing. So far there has been no indication as to the cause of death or how old the bodies might be, the paper reported.

But contrary to initial reports, the infants had not been dismembered.

“Should the forensic tests, which could still take days, not reveal clear findings, the case will be closed,” the paper said.

The investigation is also hindered by the fact that the woman who lived in the apartment was cremated after her death, making DNA tests impossible, the paper reported. But Heike W., as the woman is identified, had a child that police may be able to test.

She gave the child up for adoption in 2001, a social worker in the district told the paper.

A 46-year-old woman who had lived in the 12th floor apartment since October 2008 committed suicide this July by jumping from the window. A male friend who was cleaning out her belongings last week made the gruesome discovery.

In recent years there have been a number of high-profile cases of infanticide in Germany, with the most notorious involving a woman jailed for 15 years in 2006 for the manslaughter of eight babies.

Sabine Hilschenz, a divorced, unemployed and alcoholic dental assistant from a depressed area of the ex-communist east of the country, hid the corpses in buckets, flowerpots and an old fish tank at her parents’ home.

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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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