Norwegian neo-Nazi's race hate trial postponed

Richard Orange
Richard Orange - [email protected] • 18 Oct, 2013 Updated Fri 18 Oct 2013 09:23 CEST
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A French judge has postponed the trial of Norwegian extremist death-metal musician Kristian 'Varg' Vikernes for eight months until summer 2014, in a move hailed by his lawyer as a success.

"Thanks to you all," Vikernes exclaimed to a group of cheering supporters outside Paris's Palais de Justice.  "I do not understand what I am charged with. They found sixty drafts on my hard-drive at home, drafts which are not published. I do not understand how this could lead to prosecution." 
Vikernes's lawyer Julien Freyssinet said he and his client were "very pleased" by the delay. 
"Now we have time to prepare a good defence. We have not had time to do this up until now, because we haven't known specifically what he is accused of." 
The self-proclaimed neo-Nazi, who left Norway in 2009 to settle in rural France with his wife and children, has been charged with “inciting racial hatred” and “glorifying war crimes”. 
The charges are related to blog posts which, according to prosecutors, were “anti-Semitic and xenophobic," as well as documents retrieved from his computer, which had been confiscated by police.
If convicted, Vikernes could face a maximum five-year prison sentence and a €45,000 fine, according to France's Metro news website.
Vikernes, whose nickname 'Varg' means 'wolf', made headlines across Europe in July when he was arrested on suspicion of plotting “a major terrorist attack” on French soil.
The authorities, who had been keeping him under surveillance, became alarmed when his wife purchased a number of rifles.
Vikernes was kept in custody for 48 hours while French police questioned him and his wife Marie Chachet as to why she, a licensed gun holder, had bought five weapons.
The interior ministry said at the time of the arrest that Vikernes was "close to the neo-Nazi movement" and could have been preparing a "major terrorist act".
However, Interior Minister Manuel Valls later conceded no specific target or project had been identified, but authorities had decided to "act before and not afterwards."
He was released when the authorities could find no evidence to justify bringing charges against him. 
Vikernes has himself vowed to sue French authorities for arresting him "for no good reason whatsoever, doing so in the most brutal way possible, with children present”.
Vikernes is lauded by many death metal fans for Burzum, the one man act he launched in 1987. 
In May 1994, he was sentenced to 21 years in prison in Norway for murdering the guitarist of a rival metal band and setting fire to churches in Norway.



Richard Orange 2013/10/18 09:23

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