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Folklaw: 17 November 2006

Folklaw: 17 November 2006

Bewitched by false promisesProof that hell hath no fury like a woman scorned came in Germany recently — at least in court, when a woman won her case against a witch who sold her an…

Bewitched by false promises

Proof that hell hath no fury like a woman scorned came in Germany recently — at least in court, when a woman won her case against a witch who sold her an impotent love potion.

The Munich court ordered the repayment of £600 ($1,485.92) to loveless Tina Schultz, who had paid the sum to Madam Mitternacht. The witch had promised the potion would force Shultz’s ex back into her arms, but a lawsuit was all that eventuated.

“The defendant carried out the corresponding ritual over several months, each time under a full moon, but without success,” the court held.

Such a potion was regarded to be “objectively completely impossible” in the eyes of the law.

Having obviously never been wooed by a moonlit serenade, the judge further held that “a love ritual is not suited to influencing a person from a distance”.

Rain, hail or crime

An Austrian inmate has achieved one of the more straightforward prison breaks by mailing himself out of jail.

Industrious Bosnian, Muradif Hasanbegovic, had been employed in the prison workshop in Karlau, out of Graz, where he packaged and posted parts for lampposts.

Midway through a seven-year stint for robbery, Hasanbegovic wrapped himself in packaging and got other prisoners to lift him onto the back of truck.

“I noticed the tarpaulin had a hole in it just as the prison called me and asked, ‘have you noticed anything funny? We are kind of missing a prisoner’,” the truck driver told police.

Somewhat stating the obvious, warden Franz Hochstrasser said “this sort of thing was not supposed to happen”.

“Guards need to count prisoners at the end of working hours. We are investigating the case.”

Please stand for the national flush

Following on from a delightful toilet-themed Folklaw (Issue 315), news from Italy this week brings the story of a contentious dunny that flushes the Italian national anthem.

The toilet in question was up until recently on display at the Bolzano Museum of Modern Art. Now prosecutors are calling the porcelain pony an affront to Italy, the Fratelli dItalia being a national emblem.

According to lawyers for the museum, the song is not a national symbol, but rather something of sentimental value. Yet as BBC News pointed out, a decree was issued earlier in the year by the former government of Silvio Berlusconi, which classified the national anthem as an emblem and the property of the state.

Police arrest lawyer dressed as Osama

Lawyers can sometimes do unpredictable things in the courtroom, but few go so far as dressing up as Osama bin Laden and dancing about on a highway overpass with a toy rifle in hand.

Maine lawyer Tom Connolly was arrested for impersonating Osama on Interstate 295, and by all accounts was lucky not to get shot.

The high profile defence attorney and one-time Democrat runner for governor was arrested for criminal threatening. Known for his fancy dress protesting, Connolly wore a rubber Osama mask, waved a toy AK47 at passing motorists and held a sign reading ‘I love Tabor’ (or Taxpayers’ Bill of Rights), which some misread as ‘Taliban’. Chaos understandably ensued.

When two state troopers and four police officers demanded he drop what looked to be a weapon, Connolly at first refused, and walked toward them dropping plastic hand grenades

“The whole thing is just incredibly bizarre,” South Portland police chief Ed Googins said.

Connolly said in his defence that “there was a First Amendment this morning when I woke up. I don’t know how it evaporated with the dawn”.

Indian police trainees turn criminal

A huge gang of policemen-to-be celebrated the end of a police entry test by going on a destructive rampage through the streets of New Delhi, apparently because the test was too difficult.

According to The Times of India, about 17,000 angry members of India’s police academy pummelled cars and looted shops after their exam, some even resorting to a bit of light hearted carjacking.

“Nobody will be allowed to get away with this lawlessness,” district police chief Piyush Mordia said.

Real police were sent on mass to quell the overenthusiastic students, and 28 arrests were made.

Thief leaves finger at scene of the crime

Police are often hard pressed to match fingerprints with the instigator of a crime, but things are made a little easier when the criminal leaves behind a finger.

A burglar in Germany made the painful mistake of leaving the top part of his finger at an office he had broken in to.

Having bagged himself a computer from the business in Hildesheim, the unfortunate thief severed the tip of his finger on a broken window.

Upon finding the bloody clue, police were able to match it with their existing records, nailing a 15-year-old adolescent as a result.

“We usually find fingerprints at the crime scene,” a police spokesperson said. “But it’s not every day that thieves leave the original there too.”

The German police said there is nothing funny about crime, studiously avoiding jokes about individuals being caught red-handed.

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Folklaw: 17 November 2006
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