South East Wales

BNP candidate Sion Owens faces 'Koran burn' charge

A BNP candidate for next month's Welsh assembly elections has been charged with a public order offence, after police were passed a video appearing to show him burning a copy of the Koran.

Sion Owens, 41, was named as a party candidate for the South Wales West regional list last week.

He is due to appear at Swansea magistrates' court on Monday.

A second BNP election candidate has been arrested in connection with the incident, and released on bail.

A BNP spokesperson said both would still be candidates in the assembly election on 5 May.

On Friday, police were given a video which appeared to show Mr Owens dousing a copy of the Koran with a highly flammable fluid, before setting it alight and watching it burn.

Later that day he and another of the party's candidates for the assembly election, Swansea East candidate Joanne Shannon, were arrested.

Mr Owens was charged on Saturday night. He is in custody in Swansea, and due to appear in court on Monday.

Ms Shannon has been bailed pending further inquiries

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