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The BBC's Angus Roxburgh in Halle
"The far right prospers most in the formerly communist eastern Germany"
 real 56k

Wednesday, 30 August, 2000, 20:18 GMT 21:18 UK
German racist killers jailed
Frank Mietbauer, Enrico Hiltricht and Christian Richter
The men told detectives their motive had been racial hatred
Three German skinheads have been sentenced to long jail terms for the murder of a Mozambican man in a vicious racist attack in the east German town of Dessau.

The court sentenced 24-year-old Enrico Hiltricht to life for the attack, which took place in June, and Frank Mietbauer and Christian Richter, who are both 16, to juvenile terms of nine years.

Memorial to Alberto Adriano
The German chancellor is scheduled to visit Mr Adriano's memorial
The three admitted kicking Alberto Adriano repeatedly.

Their lawyers argued unsuccessfully for a verdict of manslaughter on the grounds that the attackers had not intended to kill their victim.

Mr Adriano, 39, who was a German citizen, was attacked while he was walking home on 11 June in Dessau, where he lived with his German wife and their children.

Wave of violence

It was the latest in the long chain of attacks to which we must put an end

Judge Albrecht Hennig
According to the indictment the men had been parading drunk through the streets, shouting neo-Nazi slogans shortly before the murder.

The violence of the attack, in which the victim was left to die after his head was stamped on by heavy army boots, caused a wave of revulsion in Germany.

The swift trial had been greeted with calls from the public and politicians for the toughest possible sentences to combat a resurgence of neo-Nazi violence.

Angelika Adriano
Angelika Adriano says she has received death threats
Sentencing the men, the judge said it was the latest in a long chain of attacks which had to be ended.

The three, who had admitted acting out of hatred for foreigners, showed no reaction when sentence was passed.

Police in Dessau said Mr Adriano's wife, who did not attend the verdict, was living in fear because she had received death threats.

Bomb blast

Mr Adriano's murder was one of three this year blamed on extreme-right attacks in Germany.

Such attacks were further highlighted at the end of July when a bomb in Dusseldorf seriously injured 10 foreigners - six of them Jews.

It was believed to be the work of right-wing radicals.

Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder is on Thursday expected to visit a memorial erected to Mr Adriano in the park where he died.

He has urged ordinary citizens to take a stand against far-right extremism, particularly in the east of the country where a disproportionate number of attacks occur.

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See also:

07 Aug 00 | Europe
Germany agonises over neo-Nazis
23 Aug 00 | Europe
Germany's east-west gulf
18 Aug 00 | Europe
German neo-Nazis suspend demos
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