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Vorarlberg Neo-Nazi convicted

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Vorarlberg Neo-Nazi convicted
Swastika symbol and flag. File photo: APA/Henning Kaiser
15:36 CEST+02:00
A 27-year-old Vorarlberg man has been found guilty of engaging in National Socialist activities, including operating as a leading member of the group National Action Vorarlberg.

Sentenced to seven months conditional imprisonment and a €7,200 fine, the man is said to have organized round table meetings and operated a website which disseminated Nazi content. The defendant himself denied the allegations.

The website in question calls for "a non-violent revolution of the mind" and the abolition of democracy, to be replaced by a national community. It also demands freedom for the right-wing radical Gottfried Küssel.

The material was found on the man's computer in his apartment, along with images and symbols reminiscent of and glorifying the Nazi era.

Senior prosecutor Wilfried Siegele found there was clear evidence the defendant was distributing texts and images with Nazi content, against the relevant laws of the Prohibition Act.

During the court process, the young man stressed that terms such as "Heroes Memorial", "Ostmark", and symbols such as the ibex and the number "88" which is used in certain circles as a code for "Heil Hitler", could also be understood in a neutral way.

"Who does something like that?" Siegele asked during the trial.

The site was registered on an American server, where there is no information as to who owns the site.

The whole presentation, the content and symbols are all very clearly Nazi symbols, Siegele told the court.

"There is no doubt that this is a case of re-engagement with National Socialist Activities," said Seigele. "This has nothing to do with freedom of speech."

The three-time offender told the court he was a nationalist and wanted a people's democracy, where the people have more say, instead of the current democracy.

"The goal is the identity of our people."

Judge Peter Mueck questioned the defendant as to which people he was referring to - Germans, or Austrians?

The accused was unanimously found guilty by the jury.

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