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Police expose Neonazi ringleader

Pascal Lobsiger has been identified by police as a right-wing extremist Keystone

Police in Switzerland have reportedly identified the Neonazi ringleader responsible for a disturbance on Swiss national day, August 1, as a well-known figurehead with a criminal record.

This content was published on August 6, 2000 - 13:03

The newspapers "SonntagsZeitung" and "SonntagsBlick" say the police have exposed the man who led a right-wing rally disrupting a speech by the finance minister, Kaspar Villiger, as 26-year-old Pascal Lobsiger.

The papers reported that Lobsiger was the man in charge of around 100 skinheads who gathered on the historic Rütli meadow in canton Uri to heckle Villiger's national day speech. The meadow is the place where the Swiss Confederation was founded in 1291.

According to the "SonntagsZeitung" he was also responsible for an attack on a festival of intercultural understanding in canton Lucerne in November 1995. On this occasion, more than 60 skinheads stormed a concert hall and assaulted visitors with baseball bats, injuring 10 people.

Lobsiger was given a 12-month jail sentence by a court in Lucerne after the incident.

In September 1995, he was also apparently filmed lobbing stones at left-wing protesters at a Zurich rally organised by the Swiss People's Party politician, Christoph Blocher.

Eye witnesses at the Rütli gathering of August 1 reported that Lobsiger was seen in the company of a notorious right-wing organisation, the Patriotic Winterthur Youth (PJW) which has been categorised as extremely violent by the Federal Police Office.

The "SonntagsBlick" said it is thought that Lobsiger is currently trying to establish a right-wing extremist group, known as the National Hammerskin Organisation (NHO).

Although the police are certain they spotted Lobsinger at the August 1 gathering, they say they do not have sufficient evidence to prove he was there. A film shot by the cantonal police was erased the next day.

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