June 07, 2006

World-Ruling enables police to strip search fans...


DORTMUND, June 6 (Reuters) - German police will have the right to strip-search even those World Cup fans heading to stadiums whose behaviour gives them no specific grounds for suspicion, sports news agency SID reported on Tuesday.

The powers follow a ruling by a regional court in the state of Saarbruecken.

The court dismissed claims by a 16-year old girl that a strip-search by police before a second division match between Dynamo Dresden and FC Saarbruecken in March last year was inappropriate and infringed her personal rights.

Typically, police search only those fans they suspect of violent behaviour but the girl was one of several female fans ordered into a cabin and forced to strip naked before the match, the court heard.

Saarbruecken police told the court that they had searched the girl precisely because she appeared "inconspicuous", and these types of fan had previously smuggled weapons and smoke powder into the stadium hidden in their underwear.

On that day, however, police found no such objects about the person of the 16-year-old girl or any of the other women they searched.

The court ruled the strip-search was justified in order to make proper checks, adding the girl should have expected it as Dynamo Dresden fans had repeatedly burned smoke powder during matches. The 16-year-old complained to the court: "You could see in from outside as the cabin was empty and besides the pavement stones in March were horribly cold."

(Link - Reuters)


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