Right-wing lawyer faces animal cruelty charges

20th July 2005, Comments 0 comments

20 July 2005, STOCKHOLM - German lawyer Juergen Rieger, known for his close ties to far-right groups, has been charged with animal cruelty at a Swedish court, reports said Wednesday.

20 July 2005

STOCKHOLM - German lawyer Juergen Rieger, known for his close ties to far-right groups, has been charged with animal cruelty at a Swedish court, reports said Wednesday.

Hamburg-based Rieger, who has been linked to the Nationalist Democratic Party (NPD), has since 1995 owned a manor in Mariefred, about 70 kilometres south of Stockholm.

The district court in Mariefred on Tuesday charged Rieger with animal cruelty dating back to 2001. If convicted he faces a fine or a two-year prison term.

The case centred on complaints initially raised by officials at Toreboda municipality that the farm's 300 animals, mainly cattle and pigs, were maltreated.

When the complaints went unheard, the municipality approached the county administrative board that ruled that the animals were suffering.

A team of veterinarians, escorted by police and other officials visited the manor in 2001. A company was also hired to tend for the animals.

"It was terrible. The animals waded in their own muck, lacked food and water and had no place to lie down since the floor was covered in muck," temporary farm hand Per-Ake Westerberg recalled in an interview with the Aftonbladet newspaper.

"Many of the animals were so emaciated that they had to be put down on the spot," he said.

Rieger briefly commented the raid at the time, telling commercial broadcaster TV4: "These people should go to Africa on a hunting safari if they want to shoot animals."

DPA

Subject: German news

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