Jonni Hansen, the controversial Danish National Socialist Movement leader, has been acquitted of racism offences.
In October 2009, Hansen was charged by the Prosecutor General over issues relating to the distribution of allegedly racist leaflets in Copenhagen and controversial claims on the group’s website. The leaflets, which were handed out in Bagsvaerd and Gladsaxe, condemned democratic Danish politicians for “opening up for a coloured deluge”.
The leaflet also stated that “the democratic parties raise foreigners to a master race in our country, while they relegate us Danes to second class citizens – Pure discrimination against the Danes.” Hansen said that the statements appeared in the pamphlet “because the major influx will sweep aside the Danish people”. Politiken reports that Hansen claimed that the racist accusations against him were an attempt to stifle his freedom of speech.
Large numbers of security officers were present at the courthouse where the verdict was handed down to prevent potentially violent clashes between anti-fascist groups and Hansen’s supporters.
With two previous convictions, Hansen has a history of spreading racist propaganda and would have faced a two-year jail sentence if found guilty. In 1999, he told television reporters: “No Jews were gassed in concentration camps. I can blame the Americans and Brits who let them starve.”
In 2000, Hansen also had his driving licence suspended for two years and was sentenced to 12 months in prison after driving his car into a group of protestors.