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Björn Höcke: AfD politician sentenced to fine for Nazi slogans

Björn Höcke: AfD politician sentenced to fine for Nazi slogans

A verdict has been reached in the trial against Thuringian AfD leader Björn Höcke for using a banned Nazi slogan. The politician has to pay a fine.

The Halle regional court has sentenced AfD politician Björn Höcke to a fine for using the symbols of unconstitutional and terrorist organizations. The court ruled on Tuesday evening that he should pay 100 daily rates of 130 euros each. The 52-year-old had rejected the allegations that he had knowingly used the banned slogan of the SA (Storm Department) of the NSDAP. The verdict is not yet final and an appeal is possible within a week.

At a speech in May 2021 in Merseburg, Saxony-Anhalt, Höcke said at the end: “Everything for our homeland, everything for Saxony-Anhalt, everything for Germany.” The third part of the triad is a forbidden slogan.

Judge to Björn Höcke: “You are an eloquent, intelligent man who knows what he is saying”

The presiding judge Jan Stengel said in the verdict that the court was convinced that Höcke knew that the SA slogan was banned and used it anyway. “You are an articulate, intelligent man who knows what he is saying,” Stengel said. The guise of freedom of expression was “severely strained” by the defendant. The court was also of the opinion that the decision to use the saying was spontaneous – “along the lines of: Let’s see how far I can go.”

After the verdict was announced, the public prosecutor’s office announced that it would examine legal remedies. If the verdict becomes final, Höcke will be considered to have a criminal record. The Federal Central Register Act regulates which penalties are included in the police clearance certificate. According to paragraph 32, this is not the case for fines of less than 90 daily rates.

In their plea, the public prosecutor’s office had called for a suspended prison sentence of six months. Prosecutor Benedikt Bernzen said it was neither understandable nor credible that Höcke did not know that the slogan was banned. In addition, the AfD man should pay 10,000 euros, if possible for charitable institutions. Höcke’s defense lawyers called for an acquittal in long lectures. Lawyer Philip Müller said there was no connection to the Nazi era at the event in Merseburg. There is no evidence that the slogan was used in a planned or prepared manner.

Trial in Halle: Nazi slogans used: AfD politician Höcke sentenced to a fine

Expert: Höcke is playing a “skillful game” with SA slogans

03:42 minutes

AfD politician soon back in the dock?

The Thuringian AfD is classified as right-wing extremist by the state Office for the Protection of the Constitution and observes, Höcke is its state leader. There are no direct consequences for his top candidacy in the state elections in Thuringia on September 1st with the current ruling.

The politician will probably have to return to the dock in Halle because he is said to have used the slogan “Everything for Germany” again during an appearance in Gera last December. According to the indictment, he is said to have spoken the first part “Everything for” himself as a speaker and then used gestures to encourage the audience to shout “Germany”. At this point, the complaint about the speech in Merseburg and the investigation had long been a topic in the media. An indictment against him on charges of incitement to hatred was also admitted at the Mühlhausen regional court in Thuringia. There are currently no dates for either negotiation.

Note: This article has been updated several times.

Source: Stern

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