Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz has said he is considering a ban on the Identitarian movement after it was revealed that the Christchurch killer had donated to leader Martin Sellner in early 2018.
Kurz’s statement comes after Mr Sellner, who is co-leader of the Austrian branch of the Identitarians, had his home raided by Austrian police earlier this week.
Kurz confirmed that Christchurch terrorist Brenton Tarrant had donated 1,500 euros to Sellner, rather than the Identitarian Movement, in early 2018 and promised a dissolution of the group, “if the law allows it,” Kronen Zeitung reports.
The Austrian leader also said that authorities were investigating whether or not there were any further links between Tarrant and Sellner and whether or not Austria would then seek to ban the movement as a potential terrorist organisation.
French Identitarian Activists Arrested Following ‘Defend Europe’ Mission in The Alps https://t.co/ix0rsoZADK
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) January 30, 2019
Populist Freedom Party leader and Vice Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache also commented by distancing himself from the Identitarian movement and demanded all potential connections between any Austrians and Tarrant be cleared up.
“Under this government, the rule of law works,” Strache said.
The Monday raid on Sellner’s home saw police confiscate all of Sellner’s mobile phones, computers, and other electronic devices according to his fiancé Brittany Pettibone who told Breitbart London that police also confiscated her devices before returning them Wednesday.
“They still have my camera, SD cards, my microphone, and my portable hard drive. When they interrogated me, they said they were doing so not because I’m an ‘accused person’ but because I have a significant tie to Martin being his fiancée,” she said.
Identitarian Activists @Martin_Sellner and @BrittPettibone Detained at Heathrow Ahead of Speaker's Corner Speech https://t.co/gNF4kztXgj
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) March 11, 2018
Pettibone also clarified that she had no contact whatsoever with Mr Tarrant, saying she had only been involved because of her close proximity to Sellner.
“To verify, there are no criminal ties between Martin and this idiot,” she said and added, “The Austrian police have to take this very seriously. I understand and don’t begrudge them. I have nothing to hide.”
Sellner has also spoken out about Kurz’s comments saying he had become “forever associated with this terror attack, which is intended to diminish our possibilities for peaceful activism. This is intended to make us less successful and is supposed to strengthen militant groups.”
The new investigation also comes nearly a year after Graz prosecutor Dr Christian Kroschl ordered police to raid the homes of several activists in the movement under suspicion of forming a criminal organisation.
Austrian Identitarians Fully Acquitted Of ‘Mafia’ and Hate Crime Charges https://t.co/dLOtm9s3ff
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) July 27, 2018
The Graz prosecutor then put 17 members of the movement on trial under Austria’s mafia laws but the judge in the case later acquitted the members of the charges in late July.
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