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Last Updated: Wednesday, 4 May, 2005, 14:56 GMT 15:56 UK
Germany convicts neo-Nazi plotter
Martin Wiese
Martin Wiese denied he and his co-accused were terrorists
A German neo-Nazi has been sentenced to seven years in jail for plotting to bomb the site of a new Jewish community centre in Munich in November 2003.

Martin Wiese, 29, was found guilty of masterminding the planned attack on a ceremony which was to be attended by politicians and Jewish representatives.

It was planned to coincide with the 65th anniversary of Kristallnacht - when Nazis attacked Jewish properties.

A state prosecutor said Wiese's aim was to undermine German democracy.

Wiese, who the court said heads a right wing extremist group Kameradschaft Sud - Comradeship South, denied belonging to a terrorist group but pleaded guilty to possessing illegal firearms.

Wiese's defence had argued that he was framed by the German security services and was innocent.

Presidential visit

Three of Wiese's accomplices were also jailed. Alexander Maetzing, 28, was jailed for five years and nine months, Karl-Heinz Stratzberger, 24, received four years and three months and David Schultz, 22, was given two years and three months.

Five other former members of Wiese's group were given suspended prison sentences in early April of between 16 and 22 months for their part in the conspiracy.

Seized weapons and neo-Nazi material
Munich police seized weapons, TNT and Nazi literature in raids

Prosecutors said Wiese planned to blow up a laying of foundations ceremony at the Jewish centre on 9 November, 2003.

The ceremony was attended by the then German president, Johannes Rau, the Bavarian state premier, Edmund Stoiber, and leading representatives of the Jewish community.

Wiese's group was said to have plotted to use Munich's sewer system to gain access to the site. But the attack was foiled in September, two months before it was due to take place.

Police seized 14 kilograms (30 lb) of explosives as well as hand grenades, pistols and far-right propaganda material during raids.

The 9 November date is significant as it would have been the 65th anniversary of the 'Kristallnacht' pogrom, when Nazis attacked and torched thousands of Jewish businesses and synagogues.



SEE ALSO:
Neo-Nazi bomb plot trial opens
24 Nov 04 |  Europe
German raids target neo-Nazis
28 Oct 03 |  Europe



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