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CRIME

Poker heist suspect released without charge

The man arrested on Friday evening on suspicion of being involved in the poker game heist in Berlin last week has been released after detectives discovered there was no way he could be connected to the robbery.

Poker heist suspect released without charge
Photo: DPA

The 29-year-old man served prison time for an attempted similar robbery on the casino at the top of the Park Inn on Alexanderplatz in 2004, leading police to suspect him and his then gang to have been behind the latest heist.

But a day after his arrest the man was released without charge, leaving Berlin police back where they started.

The Tagesspiegel newspaper on Sunday reported that although officers had searched two Berlin flats connected with the man, they could not find anything to put him at the scene of the crime.

He was released on Saturday afternoon, the paper reported, after detectives realised on the basis of their questioning that he could not have been involved.

It seems he resembled security camera pictures of one of the gang who robbed the poker tournament last weekend. His previous involvement in a similar heist led the investigation team to his door.

No further details have been released in order to keep investigative information from those who were actually responsible for robbing €242,000 from the Grand Hyatt hotel on Potsdamer Platz last Sunday.

The four-member gang held up the international tournament, which had included a number of celebrities including Boris Becker, and ran of with bags of money.

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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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