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Two Men Acquitted in Shooting Death of Neo-Nazi

March 26, 1992

DRESDEN, Germany (AP) _ Two men accused of killing a neo-Nazi leader last year were acquitted Thursday by a Dresden court, which ruled they had acted in self-defense.

Greek-born Nikolas Simeonidis, 25, had been charged with manslaughter in the death of 36-year-old Rainer Sonntag.

Ronny Matz, 24, had been charged as an accessory for driving the car in which Simeonidis fled the scene after the May 31 shooting.

The shooting occurred when about 50 neo-Nazis surrounded Simeonidis and Matz on a Dresden street. Witnesses testified that Simeonidis threatened the group with a shotgun, scaring most of them off.

Sonntag then approached Simeonidis and dared him to shoot, according to testimony.

Simeonidis said he felt threatened by Sonntag and hit him with the gun, accidentally discharging it.

About 1,500 skinheads and other extreme rightists attended Sonntag’s funeral.

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