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Fan guilty of making Nazi salute at basketball match

GUILTY: Petras Lescinskas

LITHUANIAN ACCOUNTANT Petras Lescinskas was fined 2,500 after being seen making Nazi salutes and imitating Hitler’s moustache with his hands during the Olympic basketball fixture between Lithuania and Nigeria. The 36-year old was among a group of Lithuanians who were heard making crude noises.

This was not the first incident of this kind at the Olympics, with another Lithuanian pictured making similar gestures towards black stewards at another basketball match against Argentina on Sunday.

Appearing yesterday at Stratford Magistrates’ Court yesterday, Lescinskas admitted racially aggravated behaviour.
Lescinskas’ solicitor attempted to explain his client’s behaviour as he told the hearing that Lescinskas had made these gestures at previous sports matches and believed it was acceptable.

"Your behaviour was despicable," the judge told him. "You have been intolerant of a country in a racist fashion towards others who don’t deserve abuse for their race, colour or creed.

"As for the gesture, which has been described as a Nazi salute, it is a direct insult to all of those who lost their lives in the Holocaust and the affect on generations since. ‘I do not accept that this is acceptable behaviour in your country.

'That behaviour I am sure is unacceptable to your fellow countrymen who no doubt want to distance themselves from your actions.

"The Olympics is a wondrous event not only for Great Britain but for all the nations who are competing, participating or watching on television. This type of conduct tarnishes the whole ethos of the Games."

Lescinskas also admitted to drinking before the Nigeria fixture but claimed he was not drunk when the players came on court. Through an interpreter, he said: "I regret my actions, I am sorry."

Lescinskas, who has a wife and children, is due to return home when the Olympic Games finish on August 12.

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