Court convicts 'girl who cried neo-Nazis'
A girl accused of faking a neo-Nazi attack on herself is convicted in eastern Germany.
Hainichen -- An 18-year-old girl who claimed that neo-Nazis scratched a swastika sign on her thigh after she defended a child from a racist attack was convicted Friday of faking a crime.
A court in the east German town of Hainichen sentenced her to 40 hours of community service at the end of a closed-door trial that heard evidence from 22 witnesses and two experts.
The alleged attack in November last year shocked Germany and led commentators to call for a crackdown on neo-Nazi thugs.
Police in the eastern town of Mittweida, near the Czech border, say an extensive inquiry had failed to produce any corroborating evidence. The court found the girl had carved the swastika sign onto her skin.
She claimed four young people with shaven heads had shoved an immigrant girl age about 5 of Soviet origin. When the 18 year old protested, they had held the teenager down and scratched her on a car park as residents watched from the balconies of nearby apartments.
The 18 year old's lawyer had charged that there was a conspiracy of silence to protect neo-Nazis in Mittweida. He accused police of being easily deceived and not trying hard enough.