Norwegian jailed for Web racism

April 23, 2002 Posted: 11:46 AM EDT (1546 GMT)

OSLO, Norway --A Norwegian extremist has been jailed for posting racist and anti-Semitic propaganda via a server based in the United States.

It is the first time anyone in Norway has been jailed for racist Web postings and campaigners say there could be repercussions beyond Norway's borders.

Tore Tvedt, 59, was sentenced to 75 days in jail with 45 days suspended and two years probation after being convicted on anti-racism charges.

Tvedt, founder of the Vigrid far-right group, was arrested after the Anti-Racism Centre in Oslo found possibly illegal material on the group's Web site.

The Asker and Baerum District Court said that in sentencing Tvedt it had put special weight on his efforts to draw children and young people into anti-Semitic and racist beliefs.

Anti-Racism Centre spokesman Henrik Lunde told The Associated Press: "This is historic because it is the first time someone in Norway has been sentenced to prison and has to serve jail time for making racist statements."

He said the conviction was also important because Tvedt was held responsible for the contents of his home page, even though it was posted on a server that was based in the United States and out of Norway's jurisdiction.

"He (Tvedt) was convicted for many reasons, which was possible because he stood up and clearly identified himself as the responsible publisher of the material," Lunde added.

On its Internet site, Vigrid professes a doctrine that mixes neo-Nazism, racial hatred and religion, claiming to worship Odin and other ancient Norse gods.

Tvedt's lawyer, Vidar Lind Iversen, said he would appeal.

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