Varg Vikernes, of black metal bands Mayhem and Burzum, has been found guilty of the hate crimes he was on trial for in France.
The musician has been living in France for the past four years, but he and his wife were arrested in July 2013 after he posted violent, racially-charged comments on Internet forums. Vikernes was previously associated with Norwegian nationalist bomber Anders Breivik, which made authorities suspicious of his possible future plans. When French police searched his residence they found five guns, four of which Vikernes’ wife had recently bought legally. The guns were confiscated and, shortly after, Vikernes took to crowdsourcing funds so that he could afford to sue authorities for that action.
He stood trial for “inciting racial hatred and exalting war crimes,” with ten excerpts of blogs attacking Muslims and Jews being used as evidence. The court sentenced him to a six-month suspended prison sentence and ordered him to pay a €8,000 ($10,000) fine. Vikernes previously did jail time when he was convicted in 1994 of the murder of bandmate Oystein Aarseth (a.k.a. Euronymous) and burning down three churches. He served 16 years of the 21-year sentence, with a 2009 release.
Despite the controversy surrounding Vikernes, Mayhem released a new track in February 2014 – without Vikernes’ help.