Danish Court Approves Extradition of US Neo-Nazi to Germany
COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) _ Denmark’s highest court cleared the way Thursday for an influential American neo-Nazi to be extradited to Germany, where he faces trial and a possible five years in prison.
Gary Lauck, 42, of Lincoln, Neb., has been the main supplier of propaganda to German neo-Nazis for about 20 years, according to German authorities.
His NS Kampfruf, or NS Battle Cry, newspaper glorifies Hitler and contains anti-Semitic articles. He heads the National Socialist German Workers’ Party-Overseas Organization, which was banned in Germany in 1974.
He was arrested at Germany’s request in March, when he was in Denmark to attend a regional convention of neo-Nazis. He is jailed near Copenhagen.
Germany has urged U.S. authorities to take action against Lauck, but he has been protected by constitutional guarantees of free speech.
Lauck had been fighting his extradition. The Danish Supreme Court turned him down Thursday after a lengthy legal battle, and no further appeals are possible.
Lauck had no visible reaction when the sentence was read in court.
``In a democracy, everything is forbidden especially when the orders come from the Federal Republic (of Germany), the Jewish Republic,″ Lauck shouted at reporters afterwards before being brought back to jail.
``The fight goes on,″ he said.
When asked what kind of treatment he expects in Germany, Lauck crossed his fingers and smiled nervously.
No date was immediately set for his extradition, but it is expected within 10 days. He faces German charges of distributing illegal racist propaganda and Nazi symbols. If convicted he could be imprisoned for five years.
According to the Danish law, a person can only be handed over to another country if his activities are illegal in Denmark and punishable with a minimum sentence of one year.
In announcing the court’s ruling, Chief Judge Marie-Louise Andreasen said Lauck’s publications contained statements that violate Denmark’s law on racism.
Neo-Nazis have met with increasing opposition in Denmark.
Last weekend, Danes hurled stones and bottles at some 150 European neo-Nazis marching west of Copenhagen in honor of Rudolf Hess, who once served as Adolf Hitler’s deputy. The neo-Nazis ended the march.
For nine years, German publisher Thies Christophersen distributed literature from Denmark that denied the Holocaust ever happened. Earlier this year, he fled from Denmark after demonstrations outside his house. He now lives in Switzerland.
Last year, the head of Germany’s banned Nationalist Front, Meinhof Schoenborn, moved to southern Denmark, then fled after some demonstrators violently protested his presence.