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Racist bomb-plotter paroled

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Filed: Other Country: United Kingdom
A RIGHT-wing nationalist who conspired to firebomb Chinese restaurants has been released on parole after 14 months in jail.

John Anthony Van Blitterswyk, 56, was convicted in May last year of plotting with neo-Nazi Australian Nationalist Movement head Jack Van Tongeren and two other conspirators to blow up the restaurants in Perth.

In the plan, hatched in 2004, Van Blitterswyk recruited others to help him identify which restaurants to attack and how they were to be carried out.

But the plot was deferred while a street poster campaign was launched to advertise Van Tongeren's new book.

Police uncovered the conspiracy while interviewing people involved in the poster campaign, including some co-conspirators who rolled over and gave evidence in court against the masterminds.

In sentencing Van Blitterswyk to two years and four months' jail, Judge Michael O'Sullivan said the racist crime was "un-Australian" and that no one should be at risk of attack because of their ethnic background.

Van Blitterswyk has maintained his innocence.

The WA Prisoners Review Board released Van Blitterswyk on parole yesterday for a 14 month-period on condition he does not associate with any ANM members.

Van Tongeren, 58, pleaded guilty to his role in the plot and was given a two-year suspended sentence. He was ordered to leave WA and is now believed to be living in Victoria.

Van Tongeren and Van Blitterswyk had been convicted of hate crimes before.

In 1990, they were found guilty of conspiring to drive Asians from the state and trying to incite a race hate war.

Van Tongeren served his full 12-year jail sentence, while Van Blitterswyk received an early release from his 14-year sentence.


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