German Men Given Suspended Sentences in Racist Attack | Germany| News and in-depth reporting from Berlin and beyond | DW | 31.05.2008
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German Men Given Suspended Sentences in Racist Attack

A court in Germany has handed three men suspended prison sentences for a vicious racist attack on two immigrants from Africa that marred a country wine festival in Germany last summer.

Indian man injured in racist attack in eastern Germany

An Indian who was injured in a racist attack in eastern Germany on the same day

A Sudanese man, 39, who was working at the festival, was clubbed to the ground with a wine bottle. An Egyptian, 39, who tried to rescue his co-worker, lost a finger when he was slashed with the jagged edge of a broken bottle.

The court in the city of Mainz in south-western Germany handed down sentences of 8 to 18 months on three attackers, convicting them of causing grave bodily harm, but suspending the sentences conditional on the men not getting into further trouble.

A teenaged defendant was sentenced to 80 hours of community service.

"A clear xenophobic attack"

"We think the crime was clearly a xenophobic attack," the court said but added there was no indication it was an organized far-right crime.

The men must pay 8,000 euros in compensation to the victims, the court ruled. Sentence was to be passed later on a fifth accused.

The Aug. 19 attack in the wine-growing town of Guntersblum occurred on the same day as an attack on Indian men in the eastern German town of Muegeln. Both racist assaults sparked an outcry in Germany.

Four of the men, known associates of a local neo-Nazi group, had admitted uttering racist swear-words including "nigger." Defense lawyers denied there was any neo-Nazi motive.

The accused claimed they had been very drunk and felt that the two immigrants were "provoking" them. They were tried in a closed youth court at Mainz because one of them was a minor at the time of the offence.

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