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OFFBEAT

Judge (literally) sniffs out offender who attends court with weed hidden in sock

Facing a charge of possession of cannabis wasn’t enough to stop 22-year-old from Hanover from turning up at court with a bag of weed in his sock. But he didn’t reckon on the judge having such a refined nose.

Judge (literally) sniffs out offender who attends court with weed hidden in sock
Photo: DPA

Serbuhan G. was facing a charge of possession of marijuana after being caught in possession of 14 bags of the banned substance in March, the Hannoversche Zeitung (HZ) reported last week.

Nonetheless, the 22-year-old still decided to attend his court hearing with a bag of weed hidden in his sock.

During proceedings Judge Koray Freudenberg smelled something unusual in the air and asked the defendant whether he was carrying drugs. Serbuhan G. denied the accusation, but that didn't convince Judge Freundenberg, who asked a police officer to search him. 

The nearest officer at hand was the same one who had searched him in March – he was giving testimony at the trial. And just as in March, the officers found the drugs stowed away in Serbuhan G.'s sock.

Judge Freudenberg issued a €1,800 fine for the first offence, while Serbuhan G. can expect to attend court again shortly over his second misdemeanour.

It wasn’t the first time that Judge Freudenberg’s nose had helped him detect a weed-related crime. Roughly a year ago he was present at a police control when he noticed a young man walking down the street carrying a large rucksack. His nostrils started quivering on that occasion too. And after an officer searched the man, he was indeed found to be in possession of grass.

“I’m something of a serial offender,” the judge told the HZ. He explained his sensitivity to the smell of marijuana as the result of training with narcotics during his time as a prosecutor, rather than the consequence of a misspent youth.

GERMANY AND ISRAEL

Germany in talks on further payout for 1972 Olympics victims

The German government says it is in talks over further compensation for victims of the attack on the Munich Olympics, as the 50th anniversary of the atrocity approaches.

Germany in talks on further payout for 1972 Olympics victims

Ahead of the commemoration in September, relatives of the Israelis killed have indicated they are unhappy with what Germany is offering.

“Conversations based on trust are taking place with representatives of the victims’ families,” a German interior ministry spokesman told AFP when asked about the negotiations.

He did not specify who would benefit or how much money had been earmarked, saying only that any package would “again” be financed by the federal government, the state of Bavaria and the city of Munich.

On September 5th, 1972, eight gunmen broke into the Israeli team’s flat at the Olympic village, shooting dead two and taking nine Israelis hostage, threatening to kill them unless 232 Palestinian prisoners were released.

West German police responded with a bungled rescue operation in which all nine hostages were killed, along with five of the eight hostage-takers and a police officer.

An armed police officer in a tracksuit secures the block where terrorists  held Israeli hostages at the Olympic Village in Munich on 5th September 1972.

An armed police officer in a tracksuit secures the block where terrorists held Israeli hostages at the Olympic Village in Munich on 5th September 1972. Photo: picture alliance / dpa | Horst Ossingert

The spokeswoman for the victims’ families, Ankie Spitzer, told the German media group RND that the amount currently on the table was “insulting” and threatened a boycott of this year’s commemorations.

She said Berlin was offering a total of €10 million including around €4.5 million already provided in compensation between 1972 and 2002 — an amount she said did not correspond to international standards. 

“We are angry and disappointed,” said Spitzer, the widow of fencing coach Andre Spitzer who was killed in the attack. “We never wanted to talk publicly about money but now we are forced to.”

RND reported that the German and Israeli governments would like to see an accord by August 15th.

The interior ministry spokesman said that beyond compensation, Germany intended to use the anniversary for fresh “historical appraisal, remembrance and recognition”.

He said this would include the formation of a commission of German and Israeli historians to “comprehensively” establish what happened “from the perspective of the year 2022”.

This would lead to “an offer of further acts of acknowledgement of the relatives of the victims of the attack” and the “grave consequences” they suffered.

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