British MP in Nazi party scandal says did not break the law
A British Conservative lawmaker who attended a Nazi-themed party insisted Thursday he had not broken the law after French prosecutors launched an investigation into the scandal.
Aidan Burley, who lost his post as a parliamentary aide after pictures emerged of the drunken night out in the French Alpine ski resort of Val Thorens, said he was not central to the probe.
"They are launching a preliminary investigation and I understand I am not the focus of it," he told the BBC. "I do not believe I have broken any French law and have distanced myself from the behaviour of other people on the stag."
Burley, 32, was among a group of men at the stag party, a traditional British celebration held before a man gets married.
Patrick Quincy, prosecutor in the Val Thorens area, told AFP that the authorities had opened a preliminary probe following a complaint from French anti-racism group SOS Racisme.
A lawyer for the restaurant where the party took place, La Fondue, said the establishment was also planning to file a complaint.
In a message to his constituents Wednesday, Burley, an MP in Prime Minster David Cameron's Conservative party, offered a full apology for his "foolish behaviour" but insisted that he did not have Nazi sympathies.
"I made a bad error of judgment and you deserved better from your local MP," he wrote to his constituents in Cannock Chase in Staffordshire, central England.
"Being involved in a stag party where an SS uniform was worn was wrong and offensive. It was the wrong decision on my part; crass and insensitive," he said.
"I have no sympathies whatsoever with Nazism, racism, or fascism... I personally did not participate in any alcohol-fuelled attempted toasts by other guests to the Third Reich."
© 2011 AFP