Two police raids at the home Austrian identitarian activist Martin Sellner earlier this year have been declared illegal by a court in the city of Graz.
The two raids came in March of 2019 following reports that Sellner had received a 1,500 euro donation from Christchurch killer Brenton Tarrant at the beginning of 2018, a year before Tarrant would go on to massacre 50 people at a Christchurch mosque in New Zealand, Kronen Zeitung reports.
According to the paper, Sellner had issued a formal complaint about the two raids and the court found that both raids, which saw Sellner and his wife Brittany Sellner (formerly Pettibone) have their computers and mobile phones taken, to be illegal and carried out without justified suspicion.
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— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) July 27, 2018
Sellner, who leads the ‘hipster-right’ Austrian Identitarian Movement (IBÖ), spoke to the newspaper Kurier, stating that the raids and the investigation into whether or not he had formal links to Tarrant, had damaged his reputation due to the media coverage of the raids.
Austrian news website Tagestimme was able to obtain the court ruling which read: “At the time of the approval of the investigative measure, there was not any concrete, and therefore certainly no suspicion, that the applicant [Martin Sellner] is a member of a terrorist organisation.”
The court went on to note that “ideological closeness” between Tarrant and Sellner is not enough to infer that the pair had real connections that would justify the raids. The court also rejected prosecution claims that Sellner and co-leader Patrick Lenart had avoided taxes or committed any financial crimes.
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— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) June 24, 2018
Sellner spoke to Breitbart London on the impact of the raids on his life, saying: “My wife and I have been criminalised, surveilled, stripped of our civil rights, and robbed of our possessions. I have lost my travel rights to the USA and my name has been linked to the terror attack in Christchurch on a global scale.”
He added that the house raids adversely affected his activist movement as well, saying: “Our movement lost two patriotic centres, countless bank accounts, and almost all social media accounts. All this is irreversible and the decision of the high court doesn’t change much but admitting in hindsight that this was all illegal. The mainstream media, of course, keeps almost silent about it.”
The judgement comes after former populist interior minister, and member of the Freedom Party (FPÖ), Herbert Kickl had announced that Sellner had no known personal relationship with Tarrant in March.
It also comes just over a year after 17 members of the IBÖ had been put on trial by the same Graz prosecutor who had ordered the raids on Sellner’s home.
The prosecutor alleged that the members of the IBÖ were guilty of forming a criminal organisation under Austrian’s anti-mafia laws but the charges were later rejected by a court which acquitted the activists.
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— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) March 28, 2019