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CRIME

Company issued false ‘idiot tests’

A German company has been accused of running fake “idiot tests” – special examinations drivers accused of driving under the influence have to take before being allowed back behind the wheel.

Company issued false 'idiot tests'
Photo: DPA

According to the Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung (WAZ), authorities have uncovered evidence that the company, based in North Rhine-Westphalia, has been issuing fake Medical Psychological Assessment certificates to applicants who paid fees.

The exams, mainly given in the western towns of Dortmund and Essen, include psychological and medical assessments and hand-eye coordination tests.

Several drivers were able to use the falsified certificates to get their licenses back, but suspicious authorities began investigating and found at least 40 cases of falsification, the WAZ reported.

Approximately 100,000 motorists are ordered by authorities to take Medical Psychological Assessments before being allowed to drive each year, in most cases because they have been caught driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

But private providers are responsible for running the tests and some have charged that they are open to fraud.

Klaus-Peter Kalendruschat, a manager at TÜV Nord, a company that provides the assessments legally, told the WAZ that consumers should ensure that their assessment centres are fully licensed.

He said he is convinced that because of the high stakes involved, there is a criminal element willing to issue falsified examination certificates.

The Local/mdm

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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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