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 arrests seven suspected members of IS fundraising network

German prosecutors said Wednesday they had arrested seven people accused of collecting money to send to the Islamic State group in Syria.

Germany arrests seven suspected members of IS fundraising network

The four Germans, a German-Moroccan dual national, one Kosovar and a Turkish citizen, were accused of belonging “to an international network that supported the terrorist activities of the Islamic State in Syria through financial donations”, the federal prosecutor’s office said.

Starting in 2020, the group used the Telegram messaging service to appeal for contributions, prosecutors said.

Their network included financial intermediaries who “collected money or set up accounts” for the donations.

From these accounts the money was transferred to IS members in Syria or to designated middlemen.

The funds were used to support IS members detained in northern Syrian camps and in some cases helped finance their escape, prosecutors said.

In total, 65,000 were collected through the network.

The seven suspects were said to have acted as financial intermediaries and played a “central role” in the fundraising group, prosecutors said.

The arrests were part of a nationwide swoop against people who had made donations to IS via the group.

Over 1,000 police officers searched over 90 properties across Germany on Wednesday.

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