Europe

Neo-Nazi musician Vikernes freed after arrest in France

  • 18 July 2013
  • From the section Europe
Vikernes in 1999
Image caption Vikernes had moved to France after serving a prison sentence for murder in Norway

A Norwegian neo-Nazi musician has been released two days after he was arrested in central France on suspicion of "preparing a major terrorist act".

Kristian Vikernes was arrested after his wife bought four rifles.

Officials say questioning of the suspect did not bring to light any evidence of a terrorist plot.

Vikernes had in the past received a copy of a manifesto from right-wing extremist Anders Behring Breivik, who killed 77 people in Norway in 2011.

Officials say Vikernes will have to answer charges of incitement to racial hatred over the content of some of his writings on the internet, but no charges relating to terrorism have been filed.

Kristian "Varg" Vikernes was arrested along with his French wife on Tuesday in Correze, a region in central France.

She was released from custody on Wednesday evening.

Officials say she had a legal firearms permit when she bought the four rifles.

Racist ideology

Interior Minister Manuel Valls had said that even though Vikernes was not thought to have a specific target in mind, the arrest was justified by the need to "act before and not after" with regard to terrorism.

An official at the Paris prosecutor's office said there were "several indications that made the services fear he could possibly carry out a violent act".

The official said Breivik had sent a copy of a manifesto setting out his ideology to Vikernes, who is also a convicted murderer.

Breivik planted a bomb in central Oslo and went on a shooting spree on the nearby island of Utoeya in July 2011. He was imprisoned for the maximum 21-year term last year.

Vikernes, a black-metal musician and writer known as Varg, was convicted in 1994 of stabbing a man to death in Oslo and burning down several churches.

He was released in 2009 and moved to France with his wife and three children.

Since then he has continued releasing music and writing.

Through his writings he promotes what he calls "Odalism", an ideology based on the idea that White Europeans should re-adopt "native European values".

It includes racism, anti-Semitism and elements of ethnic European paganism.

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