Almost a year to the day after he was arrested on suspicion of plotting a massacre, notorious black metal singer Varg Vikernes has been found guilty of inciting racial hatred. According to Norway’s The Local, a French court gave the Burzum frontman a six-month suspended sentence and ordered him to pay a €8,000 ($10,888 USD) fine.
Vikernes originally drew the attention of French authorities after receiving the manifesto of Anders Breivik, the Norwegian man who killed 77 people in a bombing and shooting rampage in 2011. Vikernes wrote a blog post about how he agreed with much of Breivik’s views, but suspected that the mass murderer was actually working on behalf of a vast Jewish conspiracy. Soon after that, Vikernes’ wife Marie Cachet legally purcased four rifles, which led the police to arrest the couple as a pre-emptive measure before they could carry out any attacks.
Though the terrorism charges against Vikernes were dropped due to a lack of evidence, but he still faced up to five years in prison for his racist rants, which aren’t protected by free speech in France. Vikernes’ defense was that he didn’t write these posts, many of which have since been deleted from his blog, The Thulean Perspective. At the time of his arrest, the site had “All posts by Varg Vikernes” displayed at the top, though the more extreme posts, such as his heavily anti-Jewish rant following a train crash in France, have been taken down. (You can read an archived version, if you have the stomach for it). Another since-deleted post asked fans to help fund his legal campaign to get his guns back from the police.
All of this is nothing compared to Vikernes’ past crimes. Aside from his conviction for three arson attacks on churches, he was sentenced to 21 years in prison for murdering Øystein “Euronymous” Aarseth, a guitarist in the Norwegian black metal band Mayhem. At the time of his 1993 arrest, police discovered 150 kg of explosives and 3000 rounds of ammunition in his home. Vikernes eventually served 15 years for the crimes.