Neo-Nazi leader freed from prison

MÁRIO MACHADO, the neo-Nazi leader of the Portuguese National Front and member the Portuguese Hammer Skins, has been freed from prison.

The decision was taken by judges at the Lisbon court in Monsanto which is currently trying Machado and other far right wing militants for inciting racial hatred, illegally keeping arms caches and vandalising Jewish graves.

In a statement, Machado’s lawyer José Manuel Castro made clear that custodial prison confinement had been substituted for conditional bail after several judges ruled it was unconstitutional to keep him in prison without a guilty verdict.

Under the terms of Machado’s bail the racist and anti-Semite is “prohibited from leaving the parish (freguesia) where he is resident, having contact with other defendants or buying arms.”

Machado once told a journalist in an interview while in prison that he admired Adolph Hitler.

But on Monday he was stating through his lawyer that he “regretted some of the things he’s done and would never do them again.”

Machado’s trial and that of the other 35 defendants began on April 8 but under the revised Penal Process Code (Código do Processo Penal) Machado was approaching the maximum custodial limit allowed by law without sentence, the deadline of which would have been on June 18.

Machado had been in preventative custody in prison since April 2007 after being arrested for the alleged crimes is now being tried for.

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