German court quashes far-right politician’s arson conviction

German court quashes far-right politician’s arson conviction
Police guard an entrance of the court in Celle, Germany. (REUTERS)
Updated 21 June 2018

German court quashes far-right politician’s arson conviction

German court quashes far-right politician’s arson conviction

BERLIN: A German federal court has overturned a far-right politician’s conviction for burning down a building intended as refugee housing, and has ordered a retrial.
In a ruling published Thursday, the Federal Court of Justice quashed the February 2017 conviction of Maik Schneider, a local politician with the National Democratic Party.
It said that, during his trial, a juror had asked the defendant whether he believed the “nonsense” he was telling the Potsdam state court. It found the court wrongly rejected a bid by the defendant to have the juror removed from the trial.
The 2015 arson attack destroyed a gym in Nauen, northwest of Berlin.
Schneider claimed the fire was an accident and denied xenophobic motives. He was sentenced to eight years for arson and another 18 months for separate offenses.