The 32-year-old Matthias M. receives a conditional prison sentence for possession of serial firearms and ammunition in Rüti ZH
- The police had found two series firearms, a pistol and over 2000 pieces of ammunition in the apartment of the German, whom the public prosecutor described as neo-Nazi.
- The Hinwil District Court sentenced him to 16 months in prison.
- In addition, it pronounces a country reference of ten years, as the court announced today.
The man receives an acquittal for the charge of racial discrimination. The court held that its commentary on an article about a Holocaust survivor could be interpreted in very different ways.
The ruling is not final; both the public prosecutor and the defense can appeal to the Zurich High Court.
Prison sentence, but on probation
The 32-year-old does not have to go to prison – at least not if he behaves correctly during a four-year trial period. For the German neo-Nazi Matthias M. that should be the most important conclusion of the judgment of the district court Hinwil. The prosecutor wanted to see him behind bars; he was to serve 16 months out of a total of 32 months’ imprisonment. The defense lawyer had ordered a conditional fine of 100 daily rates of ten francs. Matthias M. now lives in his home country of Germany.
The court found it proven that the man had acquired and owned two series firearms and a pistol, as well as over 2000 rounds of ammunition. “Given the dangerousness of the weapons found and the large amount of ammunition, the court considers the fault anything but easy,” says a press release. Therefore, a prison sentence of 16 months is appropriate.
What are serial firearms?
In Switzerland, fully automatic firearms fall under the term of series firearms under the Arms Act, the acquisition and possession of which is prohibited. This also applies to those that have been changed to semi-automatic weapons.
Facepalm emoji no racial discrimination
The court acquitted the man on charges of racial discrimination. The subject was a comment on his Facebook profile, which was a report by the German newspaper “Die Welt” in which an Auschwitz survivor reported on everyday life in the extermination camp. M wrote: “Contemporary witness report of one of the 7 million survivors” and added a Facepalm emoji.
The court notes that this commentary can be interpreted very differently. According to federal judicial decisions, the Holocaust denial is not tied to the use of certain terms or designations; The decisive factor is rather whether the form, the context or the other circumstances of the incriminated statement result in the denial of the Holocaust.
“In the present context, such an interpretation does not appear absurd, but other interpretations are possible,” writes the court. Because of this and because the law only criminalizes “gross trivialization”, the accused must be acquitted on this point.