Last-Minute Bust in Hamburg

A computer bound for the Soviet Union is seized

The timing was worthy of a first-rate Hollywood spy thriller. One day before the Swedish container ship Elgaren was due to make a seven-hour stop in the port of Hamburg, U.S. officials informed their colleagues in West Germany that the ship was carrying Soviet-bound contraband. Once the ship had docked, however, a Hamburg judge turned down the formal request for a search warrant on grounds of insufficient evidence. As the deadline ticked closer, a three-member panel of the appeals court reviewed and finally reversed the...

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