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Austrian chancellor says man charged in Christchurch attack had financial link to far-right movement

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz on Wednesday said there was a financial link between the man charged in the killings of 50 people in shootings at mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, and the far-right Identitarian Movement in Austria.

Identitarian Movement received money from donor with same name as accused shooter

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said there was a financial link between the far-right Identitarian Movement in his country and the man charged in the mass shootings at mosques in Christchurch. ( Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz on Wednesday said there was a financial link between the man charged in the killings of 50 people in shootings at mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, and the far-right Identitarian Movement in Austria.

Hansjoerg Bacher, spokesperson for prosecutors in Graz, said Martin Sellner, head of the Identitarian Movement, received $1,690 US in early 2018 from a donor with the same name as the man charged with murder following the Christchurch attack.

The movement says it wants to preserve Europe's identity

"We can now confirm that there was financial support, and so a link between the New Zealand attacker and the Identitarian Movement in Austria," Kurz said about the accused.

Australian white supremacist Brenton Tarrant, 28, has been charged with murder for the March 15 attacks. He is next due in court on April 5.

Sellner published a video on YouTube in which he said he had received a donation from the man and that police had raided his house over the possible links to the accused in the Christchurch attack.

In it, he said: "I'm not a member of a terrorist organization. I have nothing to do with this man, other than that I passively received a donation from him."

Bacher said an investigation was underway about whether there were criminally relevant links between Sellner and the accused attacker.

The Austrian Interior Ministry declined to comment.

Kurz said Austria was looking into dissolving the Identitarian Movement.

"Our position on this is very clear, no kind of extremism whatsoever — whether it's radical Islamists or right-wing extremist fanatics — has any place in our society," Kurz said.

On Tuesday, Kurz said on Twitter any connection between the Christchurch accused attacker and members of the Identitarian Movement in Austria needed to be fully clarified.

Austrian Vice-Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache, of the far-right Freedom Party (FPO), said the FPO had nothing to do with the Identitarian Movement.

With files from The Associated Press

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