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Germany

Police Chief Fined in Torture Case

Former Frankfurt deputy police chief Wolfgang Daschner received a suspended sentence of a €10,800 ($14,400) fine on Monday for threatening to torture the suspected kidnapper of a young boy who had already been killed.

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Daschner got a mere warning for ordering police to threaten torture

The Frankfurt state court ruled that 61-year-old Daschner had indeed ordered a subordinate, Ortwin E., to threaten to inflict pain on suspected kidnapper Magnus Gäfgen if he didn't tell the police the whereabouts of 11-year-old Jakob von Metzler. The judges acknowledged that Daschner had hoped the information would have allowed the police to save the boy's life, without knowing that Gäfgen had already killed him.

Ortwin E., 51, who interrogated Gäfgen and made the threat, was sentenced to a €3,600 fine. The two men got off lightly as the normal penalty for such a crime is six months to five years imprisonment. The defense had argued for acquitting the two men.


Police abuse


Magnus Gäfgen

Magnus Gäfgen

Gäfgen (photo), who is serving a lifetime prison term for abduction, murder and blackmail, first alleged the police threatened to manhandle him in January 2003. He gave evidence in Daschner's eight-day trial, though the district attorney did not focus his case on the 28-year-old's testimony.

Daschner had noted in a memorandum on Oct. 1, 2002 that Gäfgen, who had been arrested the previous day, would be interrogated anew after threats of "the infliction of pain under medical supervision." Witnesses confirmed that the deputy police chief had enforced his order despite resistance from colleagues.

The suspended sentence is legally regarded as a mere warning not a conviction.

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