Leaders Of May Anti-Foreigner Riot Get Jail Terms
BERLIN (AP) _ Three leaders of the neo-Nazi mob whose hateful ″hunt for foreigners″ in the eastern city of Magdeburg turned into a bloody melee were sentenced today to up to three years in jail.
The anti-foreigner riot May 12 grew out of a drunken hunt for Turks and was Germany’s worst right-wing violence this year.
The three-judge court convicted the three defendants, ages 21 to 23, of grievous breach of public order and sentenced them to terms ranging from 25 months to three years.
The judges found the three defendants - carpenter’s apprentice Heiko Kahle, waiter Steffen Schuette and railway worker Carlo Felgentraeger - guilty of inciting the hunt for foreigners and taking part in the rampage.
In delivering the verdict, chief Judge Ludwig Fabricius said ″the foreigners were chased through the streets like animals.″
Hunting for a group of Turks, the mob of about 30 rightists, shouting ″Hooligans for Germany 3/8″ and ″Smash the Foreigners 3/8″ first encountered some black African men, whom they chased through a city center packed with pedestrians on Ascencion Day afternoon.
The Africans fled into the Turkish-run Marietta Bar, which the neo-Nazis stormed, breaking windows and turning over tables.
The Turks defended the Africans and their establishment with knives, wounding three of the neo-Nazi attackers.
Police were accused of not reacting quickly enough to stop the violence, which escalated after nightfall with neo-Nazi vandalism and street fighting among skinheads, foreigners and radical leftists.
Two police officers were suspended for arresting and allegedly beating up two foreigners during the violence.
It was the second trial in the May riot. Last month, a juvenile court sentenced three youths to up to 3 1/2 years in prison.