Black metal musician given six-month suspended sentence and fined £6,400
Burzum frontman Varg Vikernes has been found guilty of inciting racial hatred by a French court, according to reports.
The Guardian says that Vikernes has been given a six-month suspended sentence and also fined £6,400 for publishing a series of blogs which attacked Muslims and Jews.
The musician, who was not present at the court hearing on Tuesday, had previously denied writing the posts himself and said they were composed by online impersonators, claiming: “At any given moment [there are] 350 people pretending to be Varg Vikernes on Facebook.”
Vikernes was arrested in a raid last July, although prosecutors were forced to drop their original claim that he might have been planning a “large terrorist act” due to a lack of evidence. They subsequently accused him of hate crimes instead.
The musician was arrested on July 16 at his farm in Salon-la-Tour in central France, where he lives with his wife and three children. Authorities reportedly grew suspicious when Varg’s wife purchased four firearms, with a permit. The arrest was made by the French government’s Central Directorate of Internal Intelligence, which revealed to the media that it suspected Vikernes of “plotting a massacre”.
Vikernes, a self-confessed neo-Nazi sympathiser, has previously spent 15 years of a 21-year sentence in prison in Norway for the murder of Øystein Aarseth, known as Euronymous, guitarist of black metal band Mayhem.
Vikernes was released in 2009 but was convicted of four counts of arson on churches in the same year.