Yellow tomato causes legal dilemma in Germany
Thu Sep 9, 8:49 AM ET
BERLIN (Reuters) - The mushy remains of a tomato thrown at a prominent member of Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder's Social Democrats has posed a legal dilemma for authorities trying to assess how to punish the thrower.
Police investigating the fruit, thrown by an unemployed protestor at the premier of the state of Brandenburg, said on Thursday they have concluded it was a yellow tomato.
Had it been a soft red one, the man would have faced a lesser charge of causing malicious damage. A harder, green tomato could carry the tougher charge of bodily harm.
A yellow one is somewhere in between. "In these types of cases it has to do with the consistency (of the fruit)," said Caecilia Cramer-Krahforst, spokeswoman for the court in the eastern city of Cottbus.
No decision on the charge has yet been reached.
SPD politicians have been facing the wrath of the public in recent months especially in the economically depressed east where many people face painful jobless benefit cuts from next January.
Tens of thousands have joined protests in the last six weeks and Schroeder himself has been pelted with eggs, none of which hit their mark.