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Girl sentenced for swastika lie

A German girl who won a "civic courage" award for allegedly
defending an immigrant child from neo-Nazis has been found guilty
of inventing the story.

The 18-year-old - named as Rebecca K - had carved a swastika on her
own thigh, the court concluded, rejecting her claim that neo-Nazis had
done it.

In February she had received an award from a Berlin association
campaigning against far-right violence.

She claimed four men had attacked her last November in the town of

In its ruling on Friday the court in Hainichen, eastern Germany, ordered
her to do 40 hours of community service.

Doctors who examined her had testified that the swastika appeared to be
a self-inflicted wound. She was 17 - a minor - when she made her report
to the police.

She claimed that she had gone to the aid of an immigrant child and that
four neo-Nazis had thrown her to the ground and carved the swastika on

Investigators failed to find any witnesses to corroborate her story,
German media report.
Her story made headlines across Germany at the time, prompting soul-
searching about a rise in neo-Nazi violence.
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