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FPOe former press officer cleared over Nazi SS posts

The former press spokesperson for the Freedom Party (FPOe) has been cleared by prosecutors in Austria after Nazi quotes appeared on his Facebook page.

Stefan Gotschacher, 44, posted on the social networking website lines from the Nazi era song "SS marschiert im Feindesland" ("SS marches in enemy land") amongst other Nazi quotes.

He also had quotes from songs of far-right band Stahlgewitter, whose name means "storm of steel".

He was in court in the Austrian capital of Vienna accused of promoting National Socialist ideologies, which is illegal in Austria.

He was accused of posting a total of four National Socialist quotes under his top five quotes on his Facebook page.

Gotschacher claimed he did not know they were Nazi related quotes and says he took them from religious forums without knowing their origins.

He claims he deleted them after he found out their Nazi links following an investigation by Austrian newspaper Falter.

When Falter contacted Gotschacher he expressed shock that they were from the "criminal" Waffen SS.

Gotschacher was suspended from his position at the FPOe. It is not yet known whether he will now be reinstated.

FPOe politician Hans-Jörg Jenewein said: "There is no reason to deny someone their job when they were found not guilty."

The eurosceptic and anti-immigration FPOe has often been accused of having ties to neo-Nazis, allegations it has constantly rejected.

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