A Hamburg court has sentenced a local man to three years behind bars, finding him guilty of justifying “Russian aggression” against Ukraine and possessing an illegal weapon.
The 32-year-old defendant, identified only as Marcel J., ran a pro-Russian Telegram channel, with its logo and name based on the unregistered ultranationalist Russian Drugaya Rossiya (Other Russia) party, Die Welt reported, citing the indictment.
Apart from sharing “pro-Russian national-Bolshevik ideas,” the defendant openly branded Ukraine a “terrorist state” and used the ‘Z’ symbol – commonly associated with Moscow’s special military operation in the country – which had been partially banned in Germany. Moreover, Marcel J. was found in possession of an illegally large knife, deemed to be a bladed weapon.
His co-defendant, identified only as a 35-year-old man, was accused of being an accomplice but received only six months in jail. A court spokesman explained that the lengthy term for Marcel J. was largely due to his previous criminal record and, in particular, a recent conviction for assaulting a reporter at a public event in late 2021.
The man was convicted for the assault in April by a Berlin court and sentenced to two years and four months in prison. Now, the two convictions will be combined, as required by German law.