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Man jailed for far-right Facebook comments

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Man jailed for far-right Facebook comments
Photo: APA
12:12 CET+01:00
A 36-year-old man from Lower Austria has received an 18 month conditional prison sentence and been ordered to pay a €500 fine for making far-right statements on Facebook.

The judge was told that the man, a father of three from Wiener Neustadt, had become a skinhead at the age of 12, and had his first Nazi-inspired tattoos at the age of 14.

"This stupid ideology has been inside me since I was a teenager - I can’t deny it. But I never intended to do anything radical or even incite people," the man said in his defence.

He admitted to posting a number of xenophobic and Nazi-inspired comments on the internet in 2012 and 2013. He said that on one occasion he wrote "Happy Birthday Papa Adolf" on Facebook when he was drunk, and that he would often write inflammatory statements after having too many beers. “Sometimes I couldn’t even remember doing it the next day, until friends would call me and tell me I was an idiot,” he said.

The 36-year-old had previous convictions for damaging property but swore to the jury that he intended to renounce the “stupidity of his youth”. He plead guilty and said he regretted all of the comments he had made.

He was sentenced under Austria’s Prohibition Act which aims to suppress any potential revival of Nazism.

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