White Supremacist Faces Scrutiny for Alleged Nazi Salute Gesture Outside Court
An investigation was launched into a potential breach of Victoria’s Nazi salute laws after a prominent Melbourne white supremacist raised his arm in a gesture similar to the now-banned action outside the court.
Jacob Hersant was being investigated for possibly performing the Nazi salute in front of the media outside Melbourne County Court on Friday while celebrating his avoidance of further imprisonment for assaulting hikers in regional Victoria. The 24-year-old stood alongside the self-proclaimed leader of the National Socialist Network, Thomas Sewell, his co-offender in the bushwalkers case, who exclaimed “Heil Hitler” as they left the court.
Hersant echoed “Heil Hitler” and raised his arm before seemingly recalling that the salute had recently been prohibited in Victoria.
“I nearly did it,” he remarked. “It’s illegal now, isn’t it?” he said, laughing and lowering his arm.
Melbourne detectives interviewed the 24-year-old man from Point Cook following the allegations that a Nazi salute was performed outside the Melbourne court on 27 October.
Hersant is expected to be charged on summons for a breach of Section 41K of the Summary Offences Act 1966 – Public display or performance of Nazi symbols or gestures.
Police are adopting a zero-tolerance approach to any violations of the prohibition on performing Nazi salutes or displaying Nazi symbols in public. This marks the first reported instance of a Nazi salute to the police since the new legislation came into effect on Saturday, 21 October.