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Austrian found guilty of Nazi Facebook post

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Austrian found guilty of Nazi Facebook post
Maria Elena/Flikr
10:12 CEST+02:00
A 28-year-old Austrian man who called for Jews to be gassed in a Facebook post was sentenced to eight months in prison on Tuesday by Wels Provincial Court.

The defendant, who was found guilty of incitement, posted a message on Facebook last September referring to the conflict in Gaza that read: “Show no photos of our dead brothers, children, women. Show only photos of their women and children...”. He is also said to have written: “Death to the Jews, I would gas them”, “Hitler showed the world that he was right, Sieg Heil!”.

A second defendant, a 26-year-old man who commented on the post with the words “Sieg Heil! Adolf Hitler”, was acquitted by the court.

Both men were born in Turkey but have Austrian citizenship and live in the city of Wels. They both held previous convictions for unrelated offences and neither is thought to have connections to right wing scenes.

The message was posted on Facebook while the 28-year-old was living in a drug treatment clinic in Carinthia last year. Both men confessed to the postings during the investigation and the 26-year-old told the court that his comment had been “stupid” and added: “I'm sorry. I did not really mean it.”

Although the 28-year-old initially told police he had posted the “fun” statement, in court he claimed it had been written by his roommate, whom he said was a schizophrenic patient whose family followed Nazi ideology.

In his closing remarks, however, the defendant said: “I would like to apologise. It doesn't matter who wrote it, I am simply sorry.”

His lawyer stressed that his client suffered from “massive cognitive deficiencies” and the post was made as a result of “rashness”.

The prosecutor, however, showed the court another Facebook post from the 28-year-old, which was not subject to the proceedings, that read: “The day will come when only the Aryans will be among each other. Blue eyes, blond hair, our leader is wonderful.”

The sentence follows the conviction earlier in August of a 38-year-old father from Styria for making donations to a neo-Nazi website and writing posts that denied the holocaust happened and incited hate against Muslims.

The Styrian had registered on the website, which hosted different forums as well as selling Nazi memorabilia, with the name 'NS friend' and was active on the site between April 2009 and June 2012.

Prosecutor Johannes Winklhofer told the accused that he had previously lied in court, in 2011. He said: “You said that you would have nothing more to do with this scene but it was not true, you made contributions to this website and were also registered on it.”

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