Samples of leftist body odour trigger outcry

23rd May 2007, Comments 0 comments

23 May 2007, Berlin, Germany (dpa) - Police who obliged half a dozen leftist radicals to give samples of their body odour faced an outcry in Germany Wednesday, with critics charging it was a "police state" idea devised by the communist Stasi. Federal prosecutors said the samples were taken as part of an inquiry into more than 15 attacks with petrol bombs on cars and homes of German industrialists, officials and the editor of the country's biggest-selling daily, Bild. They said they wanted to see if sniffer

23 May 2007

Berlin, Germany (dpa) - Police who obliged half a dozen leftist radicals to give samples of their body odour faced an outcry in Germany Wednesday, with critics charging it was a "police state" idea devised by the communist Stasi.

Federal prosecutors said the samples were taken as part of an inquiry into more than 15 attacks with petrol bombs on cars and homes of German industrialists, officials and the editor of the country's biggest-selling daily, Bild.

They said they wanted to see if sniffer dogs noticed a resemblance to odours at the crime scenes or on letters claiming responsibility. The night-time attacks, linked to the June 6-8 G8 summit, have only damaged property.

Newspapers said a 68-year-old hardline leftist was one of those asked May 9 to hold a bundle of metal tubes in his clenched fist for several minutes to absorb his odour.

Wolfgang Thierse, a deputy speaker of the German parliament, said the "police-state" method reminded him of what the Stasi used to do when he lived in East Germany.

A veteran Green, Hans-Christian Stroebele, said it was "the essence of a nosy state."

Prosecutions spokesman Andreas Christeleit denied the samples would be used to set police dogs on the leftists if they took part in protests against the G8 (Group of Eight) summit on Germany's Baltic coast.

He said "five or six" samples were taken and this was a "normal forensic method" to study bombings.

The keeper of the former Stasi archives in Berlin said most of the repressive communist police's body-odour collection had been kept in glass preserving jars. Only 21 of the jars were still in existence.

DPA

Subject: German news

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