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France court convicts neo-Nazi group members

[JURIST] The criminal court of Evry on Thursday convicted 14 members of neo-Nazi [JURIST news archive] group Nomad 88. The defendants faced charges [JURIST report] for their participation in a combat group, the illegal detention of weapons and explosives, and their responsibility in a shoot-out in 2008. The two leaders of the group, Camille Farout and Thomas Coumont, were sentenced [AFP report, in French] to four and three years imprisonment respectively, with partially suspended sentences, and ordered to pay damages. The other members received shorter or suspended sentences. The prosecution had demanded sanctions ranging from fines to 42 months of imprisonment. The hearing revealed that although the group was in possession of a substantial quantity of weapons [Le Parisien report, in French] and had engaged in military training, the ideological component was far from developed. The group committed mainly hate crimes, targeting easily identifiable social groups such as Romas [JURIST news archive] or immigrants. The court was told that since the start of the legal proceedings in 2008, the members had broken their ties to the neo-Nazi movement.

Formed in 2007, the group was disbanded in mid-2008 following the arrest of two of its members involved in a shoot-out. During its existence, it formed ties with other extremist nationalist groups, such as the Socialist Right [Le Figaro profile, in French], which are still in operation today despite governmental surveillance and efforts to suppress the movement [JURIST report].

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