OFF THE WIRE
Representatives across all major parties in the newly-elected state parliament of Berlin have spoken out in favour of banning the Hells Angels, a motorcycle gang linked with organized crime, in the German capital.
Green party domestic policy spokesman Benedikt Lux told Tuesday’s edition of the Berliner Morgenpost newspaper that banning the Hells Angels would make sense in Berlin. “But this should be a water-tight ban that can withstand any appeals,” he said.
Lux’s counterpart in the socialist Left party Marion Seelig agreed, adding, “Just as important as banning this group is destroying the networks that it uses.”
Thomas Kleineidam and Peter Trapp, spokesmen for the Social Democratic Party (SPD) and the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) respectively, also spoke out in favour of a ban on the club, which is thought to be involved in drug trafficking and violent crime.
The Berlin police have raided several Hells Angels clubhouses in recent years, while one Hells Angel in Rhineland Palatinate was jailed earlier this year for killing a policeman.
Berlin would be the second German state to pass such a ban. The state of Hesse shut down two branches of the group in September.
The Hells Angels have previously threatened to fight bans at the European Court of Justice.