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CRIME

Top Hells Angel gets four years in jail

A German court has jailed a top Hells Angel for more than four years for a series of crimes including human trafficking and grievous bodily harm. His testimony sparked raids across the country and a hunt for a body cemented into a building.

Top Hells Angel gets four years in jail
Photo: DPA

The man named only as Steffen R., who is now in a witness protection scheme, ran a “terror brigade” called Legion 81 out of Kiel – in support of the Hells Angels in the city, said state prosecutor Alexander Ostrowski in his closing remarks in court.

The case being heard by the Kiel district court yielded more than evidence about Steffen R.’s own crimes – he described in detail the structures of the biker gang in the region. Since then he has been under police protection at a secret location for fear of attacks.

“The criminal justice authorities will not tolerate a small group putting its interests over those of others and developing its own regime,” said Ostrowski.

But he said he was only calling for a relatively mild sentence because the accused had distanced himself from his former comrades and had put himself in danger by giving evidence against the Hells Angels.

Steffen R.’s testimony led to huge raids last month in three states across northern Germany involving more than 1,000 police officers. Detectives are still working at a warehouse in Altenholz near Kiel where they hope to find the remains of a missing man concreted into the foundations.

The Local/DAPD/hc

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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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