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Former Pegida official decries incitement fines, says she won't pay

Europe
29.03.2018
By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Dresden, Germany (dpa) - One of the more familiar faces from Germany‘s anti-foreigner Pegida movement faces jail time because she cannot afford the fines levied after she was found guilty of incitement and slander.

Tatjana Festerling, 54, faces jail time for past public utterances in which she referred to refugees as "Muslim breeding machines" and made reference to a "birth jihad" when discussing migrants to Germany.

Those resulted in three separate charges for which she was found guilty and ordered to pay 3,000 euros (3,695 dollars) in fines.

She has until April 9 to do so, or she faces jail time, confirmed a spokesman from the prosecutor‘s office.

Festerling posted the letter demanding the money on her website and then issued a statement via Facebook saying she could not pay the fines.

In a 16-minute video on YouTube, she said that she was a victim of political persecution and that she can neither pay the fines, nor would she want to.

"I find it arbitrary and purely politically motivated, which is why I cannot accommodate this demand that I pay this release fee - this jail avoidance fee - like I was before the Mafia and buying my freedom from punishment. Either I am a criminal or I am not."

However, she asked supporters to send money to the authorities in the hopes that might end the case.

Festerling ran to be mayor of Dresden in 2015 on the Pegida ticket and took 10 per cent of the vote. Since then, she had a falling-out with Pegida head Lutz Bachmann and has left the group.

In the video, she said she no longer lived in Germany.

 

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