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Germany

Girl Faked Neo-Nazi Attack, German Court Says

An 18-year-old girl who claimed that neo-Nazis scratched a swastika on her thigh after she defended a child from a racist attack was convicted Friday of faking a crime.

Neo-Nazis at a demonstration in Halbe, 2003

The girl claimed she was pinned down by 4 neo-Nazis

A court in the east German town of Hainichen sentenced the girl to 40 hours of community service at the end of a closed-door trial that heard evidence from 22 witnesses and two experts.

The alleged attack in November last year shocked Germany, with commentators calling for a crackdown on neo-Nazi thugs.

Police in the eastern town of Mittweida, near the Czech border, say an extensive inquiry had failed to produce any corroborating evidence. The court found the girl had carved the swastika into her own skin.

A policeman puts a neo-Nazi against the wall while breaking up a rally of about 80 neo-Nazis in Koenigslutter, on August 16, 1997

The alleged crime last year caused a stir in Germany, as many called for a crackdown on neo-Nazi activity

She claimed four youths with shaven heads had shoved an immigrant girl aged about five of Russian origin. When the 18-year-old protested, they had held the teenager down and scratched her on a car-park as residents watched from the balconies of nearby apartments.

The 18-year-old's lawyer had charged that there was a conspiracy of silence to protect neo-Nazis in Mittweida. He accused police of falling for a deception and not trying hard enough.

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