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Monday, 11 March 2013

Swedish court rules in “dressing like Hitler” case

A Swedish court acquitted on 7 March a young man charged with hate crime for dressing like Nazi leader Adolf Hitler, the Local reported.

The 24-year-old man turned up at a costume party in a pub in Jönköping, south central Sweden in November 2012 wearing an armband with a swastika, a dark suit, and a toothbrush moustache.

The Jönköping District Court found that the man had no intention of appearing threatening or disrespectful in dressing up to look like the Nazi leader. The man himself admitted wearing the swastika-armband, but denied doing so constituted racial agitation.

In addition the judges found that the youngster was 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 indicated he sympathised with the Nazis or their ideology, the court wrote.

An important factor to influence the court’s decision was the fact that the accused was not walking around the city with a swastika.

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

The site recapped that 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.

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