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Life sentence for extremist murder upheld

The brutal murder shocked local residents in Unterseen

(Keystone)

The Bern high court has upheld a life sentence against a right-wing extremist for the murder of a fellow gang member.

The court ruled that a life term was the only appropriate punishment considering the gravity of the crimes involved. The defence is considering an appeal to the Supreme Court.

The ruling upholds the original judgement handed down by the district court in Interlaken to the 26-year old last year.

High court judge Martin Räz said that the culprit had played the leading role in the brutal murder of Marcel von Allem in 2001.

In his judgement, Räz said the man had carried out "a whole serious of crimes before the unimaginably unscrupulous murder." He was previously convicted of shooting at a police officer.

Räz stated that although the seriously injured victim begged for forgiveness and mercy, the defendant "lead the elimination cruelly and agonisingly to its end."

Brutal murder

At the end of January 2001, 19-year-old Marcel von Allmen, a right-wing extremist from canton Bern, was reported missing. Police later discovered his body weighted down underwater in the Lake of Thun.

Four men were originally arrested for the crime, a few days after von Allmen's body was found. They were aged between 17 and 22 at the time and all members of the self-styled "Order of Aryan Knights".

The four told police they had punished von Allmen for breaking the extremist group's code of silence.

Von Allmen was lured to the gang's hideout and beaten to death with an iron bar. His body showed torture marks.

The Order of Aryan Knights was reportedly set up in 1999 by two of the original defendants to fight against the presence of foreigners in Switzerland.

swissinfo with agencies

In brief

Marcel von Allmen was beaten to death and his body dumped in a lake in early 2001.

Four friends of the young man, all members of a group called "The Order of Aryan Knights" confessed to killing him for allegedly betraying their secret racist fraternity.

The life sentence handed down to the ringleader by Interlaken district court last year was confirmed on appeal by the high court in Bern on Wednesday.

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