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CRIME

Extradition trials delay Berlin killing charges

While the family and friends of a young man who was beaten to death in Berlin have pleaded with the top suspect, who fled to Turkey, to return to Germany, officials say getting him back will not be easy, Die Welt reported on Sunday.

Extradition trials delay Berlin killing charges
Photo: DPA

Criminal law experts told the paper their experiences trying to get other suspects returned to Germany from Turkey and other countries shows that German authorities are often unable to prosecute crimes committed at home when the suspect goes abroad.

The main suspect in last month’s killing of 20-year-old Jonny K. in Berlin’s central Alexanderplatz plaza could end up living in relative safety in Turkey, the paper wrote.

Onur U., 19, left Germany with his father for Turkey just a few hours after the attack. His mother followed them last week, the paper said.

When a Bild newspaper reporter caught up with him in Turkey, he said he intended to voluntarily return to Germany to face up to the charges – but he has not yet done so.

Jonny K.’s sister has spoken on television about the killing – and called for Onur U. to return to Germany.

Prosecutors are investigating the legal steps necessary to get him extradited. Last Wednesday the Turkish justice minister said it might be a possibility – so long as the legal requirements are met.

He could theoretically apply for Turkish citizenship to avoid being sent to Germany for trial – but were he to be convicted for murder there, he would face a far longer sentence and much worse conditions, Die Welt said.

Germany issues between 2,000 and 2,500 international warrants annually and 900 to 1,200 people are extradited to Germany each year.

In the 1990s a Turkish contract killer living in Berlin travelled back home to kill a rival of his client. The victim, also a Turkish man living in Berlin, was on holiday at the time in Turkey when he was killed. The contract killer was arrested and put on trial.

The Berlin authorities requested that the contract killer be made available for its case against the man who initiated the contract. Turkish authorities were unable to comply with the request however, as the killer had already been executed.

The Local/mw

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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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