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Dressing like Hitler not a crime: Swedish court

A 24-year-old man who attended a party dressed as Nazi leader Adolf Hitler has been acquitted of hate crime charges by a Swedish court.

Dressing like Hitler not a crime: Swedish court

The man was sporting an armband with a swastika, a dark suit, and a toothbrush moustache when he turned up at a costume party at a pub in Jönköping in south central Sweden in November 2012.

The man admitted wearing the swastika-armband, but denied doing so constituted racial agitation (hets mot folkgrupp).

The Jönköping District Court agreed, finding the man had no intention of appearing threatening or disrespectful in dressing up to look like the Nazi leader.

The man’s lawyer had expected her client to be acquitted of the charges.

“My client went to a costume party and the point wasn’t to express some political or other view, rather it was simply to represent a Nazi,” lawyer Mats Erfors told the TT news agency.

“He wasn’t walking around the city with a swastika.”

In its ruling, the court described how the man only dressed as Hitler after drawing the short straw among friends and thus being assigned the role as opposed to choosing it himself.

The man’s choice of costume, therefore, in no way indicates he sympathizes with the Nazis or their ideology, the court wrote.

The ruling clearly differs from other cases in which people have been convicted of hate crimes for performing Nazi salutes in public.

In 2011, a man from Småland in southern Sweden was fined for making Nazi salutes and shouting “Heil Hitler” outside a restaurant in Växsjö.

Earlier that same year, a 16-year-old boy from Västra Götaland in southwest Sweden was also found guilty of the same offence after he was caught making gestures in a McDonald’s restaurant.

In those cases and others, people bearing Nazi-inspired clothing and shouting slogans had clearly expressed their support for Nazi ideology, the court wrote.

However, the 24-year-old was convicted of weapons crimes for having a shotgun and stun gun in his apartment.

TT/The Local/dl

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NAZI

Swedish Nazi arrested for planned murder of journalists

A member of Sweden’s neo-Nazi party the Nordic Resistance Movement (NMR) has been arrested after police found proof that he was planning to murder two journalists.

Swedish Nazi arrested for planned murder of journalists
Photo: AFP

Swedish police found documents on the Nazi party member’s computer with information about two journalists working for Mittmedia, one of Sweden’s largest media groups.

The files also included photos of the reporters’ homes, Swedish news agency TT reported.

Authorities also found a home-made shotgun and ammunition in the suspect’s possession, as well as silencers and a contraption designed to fire the concealed weapon from inside a bag.

Government Security Service Säpo is taking part in investigations as they have also previously impounded countless DIY weapons at the homes of several NMR members

The man denied all knowledge of the documents and claimed to have no intention of harming the journalists.

Police also found a transmission breaker at the NMR member’s home, a breach of the Electronic Communications Act.

His hearing begins on August 23 at Sundsvalls District Court in Västernorrland County.

SEE ALSO: UN 'concerned' about level of racism in Sweden

 

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