Austrian far-right pol wins damages over Hitler mustache
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Austrian far-right pol wins damages over Hitler mustache

Defendant ordered to pay 1,000 euros for Facebook post showing Norbert Hofer with Nazi leader’s distinctive facial hair

Presidential candidate Norbert Hofer of Austria's far-right Freedom Party waves to supporters during the final election campaign event in Vienna, Austria, on May 20, 2016. (AP Photo/Ronald Zak)
Presidential candidate Norbert Hofer of Austria's far-right Freedom Party waves to supporters during the final election campaign event in Vienna, Austria, on May 20, 2016. (AP Photo/Ronald Zak)

VIENNA, Austria — The far-right candidate in Austria’s upcoming presidential election won 1,000 euros ($1,120) in damages Friday from a man who posted a fake image of him with a Hitler mustache on social media.

A post on Facebook had said that Norbert Hofer “wishes all those mentally disturbed compatriots who vote for him good morning. Heil Hofer!”

The 42-year-old man, who was not named, was also fined 320 euros by a court in Innsbruck, western Austria for defamation, local media reported.

The defendant had removed the posting several days afterwards and apologized to Hofer’s Freedom Party (FPOe) but not to Hofer himself, who launched a civil action against him.

Adolf Hitler (German Federal Archive/Wikimedia Commons)
Adolf Hitler (German Federal Archive/Wikimedia Commons)

The anti-immigration FPOe is one of several parties to have gained in support in Europe in the past year on the back of the continent’s worst migration crisis since 1945.

The party strenuously denies being racist and having links to neo-Nazis and this is not the first time that Hofer, 45, has launched legal proceedings for being called a Nazi.

In May Hofer narrowly failed to be elected president in a runoff election after being beaten by independent ecologist Alexander Van der Bellen, 72, by just 31,000 votes.

Presidential candidate Alexander Van der Bellen speaks to journalists during the second round of the Austrian President elections on May 22, 2016, at the Hofburg in Vienna. (AFP PHOTO / APA / HERBERT NEUBAUER )
Presidential candidate Alexander Van der Bellen speaks to journalists during the second round of the Austrian President elections on May 22, 2016, at the Hofburg in Vienna. (AFP/APA/Herbert Neubauer)

The FPOe managed to have the election annulled in July however because of procedural irregularities.

Initially scheduled for October 2, the re-run of the vote was postponed in September to December 2 because of glue on postal votes failing to stick properly.

Hofer and Van der Bellen are running neck-and-neck in opinion polls.

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