SYDNEY, Australia (Sep. 11)
A 25-year-old neo-Nazi has received a nine-month suspended sentence for telephoning a bomb threat to a pro-Israel rally in Melbourne on Jan. 21, shortly after the start of the Persian Gulf War.
Judge Leslie Charles Ross of the County Court said the act of Graeme Lane, a member of the neo-Nazi National Action movement, was politically motivated and nothing short of terrorism, at “a time when tensions in the community were running high.”
But the sentence was suspended because the judge determined that Lane, a chemical engineer described in court as “an academic and scholastic overachiever,” demonstrated genuine remorse.
The Jewish Community Council of Victoria state told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that Lane had written them apologizing for “my most unfair and cowardly infringement of your democratic rights.”
Lane pleaded guilty to creating a public nuisance by telephoning a false warning that a bomb was planted in the Palais Theater, where some 3,000 Jews had gathered for an Israel solidarity rally attended by the Israeli ambassador to Australia. He made the anonymous call from a nearby public telephone and went to the theater “to admire his handiwork,” which was to disrupt the meeting, the court was told.
At the hearing in January, Chief Magistrate Sally Brown ordered Lane to stay away from Jewish schools, centers and synagogues and to have no contacts with National Action members.
Police Senior Detective Jeremy Oliver testified then that he believed National Action was responsible for a “two-year terror campaign” against the Jewish community in Melbourne.