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Leader of Germany’s far-right AfD to stand trial for Nazi slogan

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A leading member of Germany’s far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party is due to stand trial on Thursday for allegedly using a banned Nazi slogan.

The AfD chairman in the state of Thuringia, Björn Höcke, goes on trial in the city of Halle on allegations that he used a banned slogan of the Storm Troopers (SA), the Nazi paramilitary fighting organization, in two speeches. He is charged with using symbols of unconstitutional and terrorist organizations.

Before the trial began, the former history teacher explained that he had not known what the slogan was about.

In the upcoming state elections on September 1, the 52-year-old wants to stand as the lead candidate in the central state of Thuringia for the AfD, which is classified as right-wing extremist in the state and is being monitored by tits domestic intelligence service, officially known as the Office for the Protection of the Constitution.

Specifically, it is about the SA slogan “Everything for Germany!” Höcke is said to have used it once in the town of Merseburg in Saxony-Anhalt and, during a second speech in the city of Gera in Thuringia, he is said to have encouraged his audience with gestures to complete the first part of the slogan spoken by him with the word “Germany.”

According to a court spokeswoman, the penalty ranges from a fine to a prison sentence of three years.

The presumption of innocence applies until a possible conviction, she stressed.

Demonstrations are also expected in Halle at the start of the trial.

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