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Swede denies Auschwitz sign theft charges

AFP/The Local · 12 Feb 2010, 15:16

Published: 12 Feb 2010 15:16 GMT+01:00

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Högström is to be kept in custody until an extradition hearing, his lawyer said on Friday after a court appearance.

"The court found that he should stay in custody further on. The prosecutor said he must be in custody because there is a risk that he tries to leave the country," Björn Sandin said.

The lawyer said there were strong chances his client, Anders Högström, who denies the charges, would be extradited to Poland to face trial.

"There is a strong rule that says if the objective circumstances are fulfilled, a person should be handed over (to the other country) in the case of a European arrest warrant," Sandin explained.

Högström, 34, was arrested in Stockholm on Thursday for "incitement to aggravated theft and damage, as well as illegal trade of a cultural good," court documents filed by the prosecutor on Friday showed.

"[H]e says he hasn't done (it) at all, that they destroyed this thing by cutting it up, he has not given anyone that job to do, and he was not supposed to have anything to do with the money either," the lawyer said.

Högström has not yet formally pleaded to the charges, Sandin said, adding, "that is something that will be handled in Poland if he goes there."

Högström has told Swedish media he was to act as an intermediary to pick up the sign and sell it to a buyer, but in the end he wound up informing Polish police about the people behind the plot.

"His opinion is rather that he contributed to solving the issue. He has helped both Swedish and Polish police and Interpol with the investigation," Björn Sandin told the TT news agency.

He founded the National Socialist Front, a Swedish neo-Nazi movement, in 1994 and headed the party for five years before quitting.

The party was dissolved in 2008.

Story continues below…

Polish justice authorities indicted Högström in January for his alleged involvement in the December 18 theft of the sign from over the gate of the notorious camp set up in occupied Poland by Nazi Germany during World War II.

Poland issued a European arrest warrant for him on February 2, after Sweden provided additional information on his place of birth, parents' names and residence.

Polish police recovered the five-metre (16-foot) metal sign, whose German inscription means "Work Will Set You Free" in English, on December 20, two days after the theft, and arrested and charged five Polish men.

The sign, which had been cut into three parts, was returned by investigators to the Auschwitz museum on January 21, less than a week before commemorations marking the 65th anniversary of the camp's liberation by Soviet Russian troops.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

20:52 February 12, 2010 by Nemesis
The sooner he is deported to Poland, the better.

I hope he rots in jail.
21:30 February 12, 2010 by Luckystrike
Breaking news! A criminal how denied doing a crime...My God...what next
23:30 February 12, 2010 by wxman
You're the voice of reason, Towbridge. I hate Nazis as much as anyone, but let's at least have a trial first. Some folks are always into the lynching thing right off the bat. If he's proven to be guilty, then let's measure him for a necktie party.
07:58 February 13, 2010 by johnnyrebel
It is always hang em high with judge Nemesis. How can you be so quick to judge?
12:57 February 13, 2010 by kufgen
Johnnyrebel & T.H.F get down off your liberal high horses and wake up to the real world, this nazi laughs at you and your kind that believe everyone should be treated equally. Do you honestly believe that you wouldn't last five minutes in his world? He's guilty of being a nazi, enough said!
03:35 February 14, 2010 by Davey-jo
"Swede denies Auschwitz sign theft charges"

As I always say; Well he would wouldn't he!

Produce the evidence and charge the little bleeder then come back with a half a story.
05:23 February 14, 2010 by Buccaneer
My wish for this neo-nazi is that when he goes to jail "Work Will Set him Free".

He would have enough time to reflect on his sorry past and also reflect on how it must have been for the victims of Auschwitz.
09:15 February 14, 2010 by calebian22
The Dresden Holocaust? Don't be ridiculous. Dresden was an industrial base in Germany. Industrial base=good bombing target.

Do you know why they are called Neo-Nazis? The Allied forces obliterated the originals off the planet. WWII, the last time an oppressive force like the Reich got what they deserved.
09:43 February 14, 2010 by johnnyrebel
kufgen...it is laughable that you would paint me as a liberal or a conservative or anything for that matter. It is really difficult to make me fit in any particular box...it will be tough for you to unsaddle me. I dont salute flags, although the Swedish flag has a special place in my heart. The background skyblue with the cross of the yellow sun, sort of peaceful isnt it? Maybe you should just resort to calling me names like a Nazi sympathizer to begin with. Thats funny!

Somehow the presumption of innocence until proven guilty is part of my makeup...probably just the vestige of my naive youth.

Mostly, I was just teasing Nemesis...trying to bring that spirited lass down from her high horse.

calebian22...industrial base equals good bombing target. If only life were so simple.
12:23 February 14, 2010 by calebian22

In war, an industrial base is a good target. In war it is that simple, or at least it was back then. P.C. policies have changed all that.


Your links, no thanks. You will only link to your own articles or you conspiracy nutter buddies' websites. I find it funny that I am a moron because I disagree with your left wing view. Typical of your ilk.
16:10 February 14, 2010 by calebian22
Unimaginable viciousness of the Dresden massacre? Unimaginable? You have the audacity to use that word in defense of WWII Germany? Even if you go with the highest numbers of victims, 100,000, this is a drop in the bucket regarding the innocent citizens to fall under the tyranny of Nazism.

The Dresden bombing helped stop the war. Industrial base or shooting civilians in a bucket; why not both? If these Germans were so innocent, why didn't they stand up to the Nazi regime? Some Germans did stand up and fight underground against the Nazis. These "innocents" in Dresden could have done the same. Doing nothing in the face of the Nazi atrocities is tacit approval at best and collaboration at worst.
17:51 February 14, 2010 by Nemesis

Dresden had 50´000 workers involved in war production and they had a poison gas plant. In Dresden they made anti aircraft guns, optics for sights in tanks, planes and submarines, gears and various other items for the war effort. It was also a military barracks. It was a military target.

You will notice from Trowbridges posts what his opinion of jews is. The allies bombed and destroyed a poison gas factory, so Trowbridge will be annoyed.

Trowbridge claims to have been in the CIC. His attitutude fits with the CIC. They helped nazi and utasche war criminals escape justice at the end of WW2. Also he wallows in human suffering.
21:16 February 14, 2010 by kufgen
T.F.H. Yawn...! WWII history lessons, boring and absoultly nothing to do with the case on hand. This idiot is a Nazi, Nazis were and are scum and deserve to be treated as such. You should let us all know where you stand exactly when it comes to fascism, minus a history lesson please?
03:35 February 15, 2010 by Davey-jo

you say "The sooner he is deported to Poland, the better.

I hope he rots in jail."

I trust you believe in the principle of innocent until proven guilty. You have not heard the case and so cannot pronounce on his guilt or otherwise. I say wait until there is a trial with evidence and then decide. He might just be not guilty; bear in mind all those "guilty Irishmen" locked up by the UK government on no evidence whatsoever. In cases like this you have to give the benefit of the doubt to the most odious of people. By doing so you maintain the health of the body politic of your society. You can sleep at night knowing that those in prison deserve to be there. An innocent man interned is an insult to all free thinking people.
09:59 February 15, 2010 by calebian22

Yes, I know that Dresden was an industrial center, before the war, during the war and today. Being a war critic 70 years later is pretty easy to do. Tyranny got it's arse kicked and now some want apologies for being kicked too hard.

Also, it is just fun to get T-bone all riled up. It is entertainment to see him connect imaginary dots.
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