Retired photojournalist on trial for bomb remark

A case involving retired German photojournalist Berndt Jurgen

Fischer, who has been charged under the Explosives Act, has been moved to the

Cape Town Regional Court for trial.

Fischer (68) made his final appearance in the district court where

magistrate Vusi Mhlanga remanded the case to June 11.

The case was transferred because the maximum sentence imposed in a

district court is only three years, compared with the regional court’s 20-year

sentence.

The transfer was an indication of how serious the authorities view

bomb threats and hoaxes.

Court papers state that the penalty for offences under the

Explosives Act includes a fine or imprisonment of up to 15 years.

Fischer was attending a 2010 soccer draw at Cape Town’s

International Conference Centre in December last year when he allegedly made a

remark to security.

He had been passing through a security point where bags and

equipment were scanned, only to hear that his camera also needed to be

scanned.

Fischer then allegedly asked security staff if they thought he had

a bomb in his camera. The remark resulted in his immediate arrest.

The charge sheet states that Fischer “communicated false

information, knowing it to be false, regarding explosives”.

At today’s proceedings, Fischer was represented by counsel William

King, who with attorney Cornel Stander would conduct his defence in the regional

court.

Fischer’s R5 000 bail was extended.


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