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Friday, February 16, 2024

Germany jails man for supporting Russia

A German national has been sentenced to three years in prison for expressing online support for the Russian side in the Ukraine conflict

A Hamburg court has sentenced a local man to three years behind bars, finding him guilty of justifying “Russian aggression” against Ukraine and possessing an illegal weapon.

The 32-year-old defendant, identified only as Marcel J., ran a pro-Russian Telegram channel, with its logo and name based on Russia’s unregistered ultranationalist Russian Drugaya Rossiya (Other Russia) party, Die Welt reported, citing the indictment.

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Apart from sharing “pro-Russian national-Bolshevik ideas,” the defendant openly branded Ukraine a “terrorist state” and used the ‘Z’ symbol – commonly associated with Moscow’s special military operation in the country – which had been partially banned in Germany. Moreover, Marcel J. was found in possession of an illegally large knife, deemed to be a bladed weapon.

His co-defendant, identified only as another 35-year-old man, was accused of being an accomplice but received only six months in jail. A court spokesman explained that the lengthy term for Marcel J. was largely due to his previous criminal record and, in particular, a recent conviction for assaulting a reporter at a public event in late 2021.

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The man was convicted for the assault back in April by a Berlin court and handed two years and four months in prison. Now, the two convictions will be combined, and Marcel J. will get the total penalty for all of them, as required by German law.