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CRIME

Politician in Hesse killed with shot to the head

A local politician from the German city of Kassel was found dead with a gunshot wound to the head, police said Monday, adding that no weapon was found at the scene.

Politician in Hesse killed with shot to the head
A memorial left for Lübcke in front of Hesse's regional authority. Photo: DPA

“We are looking for a perpetrator,” said chief prosecutor Horst Streiff after the death of city administrative chief Walter Lübcke, who was 65.

Streiff stressed that there was no evidence pointing to suicide.

Lübcke, of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's centre-right CDU party, was found around 0:30 am local time Sunday on the terrace of his home in Wolfhagen, near Kassel in the central state of Hesse.

He had been shot in the head at close range with a handgun, police said.

His CDU party said in a statement that Lübcke a married father of two, had “never been afraid to speak his mind”.

Walter Lübcke in 2012, announcing the decision to build a sewer pipeline. Photo: DPA

Germany's top-selling daily Bild pointed out that Lübcke had in 2015, during a mass influx of migrants to Germany, strongly spoken out for the rights of refugees, drawing anger from far-right activists.

Hesse state criminal police chief Sabine Thurau said however that currently there was no evidence of a link between those comments and his death, and that a 20-officer investigation team was searching for a possible motive and a suspect.

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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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