Nikola Gasparovic, Dominik Sieben, Marijan Lisic Nazi salute at Australia Cup grand final

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Three men who are completely unknown to each other have been charged under novel NSW laws after they allegedly displayed a Nazi salute at a football grand final.

Nikola Marko Gasparovic, Dominik Sieben and Marijan Lisica separately attended the highly-charged Australia Cup final between Sydney United 58 and Macarthur on October 1, 2022.

Parramatta Local Court on Monday was told the men are all of Croatian background and are keen supporters of the football club.

All three men were captured separately performing the “Hitler salute” on CCTV and on a broadcast of the game by Channel 10.

Followers of the semi-professional club were widely condemned for their actions following the match, leading to an investigation by NSW Police with detectives poring over hours of broadcast footage and CCTV.

The court was told Mr Gasparovic, 46, and Mr Lisica, 45 sang a chant associated with a Croatian far-right movement.

A police prosecutor told the court Mr Lisica wore army camouflage, while Mr Gasparovic carried a “World War II era Nazi” flag.

Meanwhile, the court was told Mr Sieben, 25, wore a red and white jersey, while he had the Croatian flag hanging like a cape around his neck.

All three men were interviewed before they were charged with knowingly displaying by public act a Nazi symbol without a reasonable excuse.

They are fighting the charges at a hearing before Magistrate Joy Boulas, where the police prosecutor told the court it was a “novel” piece of legislation introduced in 2022.

It is the first high profile case in which a person has been charged with the offence.

Anyone found guilty of the offence of displaying a Nazi symbol without an excuse faces a maximum penalty of 12 months imprisonment and/or an $11,000 fine.

The prosecutor told the court the key issue at the hearing will be whether the salute constitutes a Nazi symbol, as it is not defined in the act.

“It will be a matter for your honour to determine beyond a reasonable doubt whether the actions by the accused are a Nazi symbol,” he said.

Ms Boulos will have to determine whether the elements of the charge have been satisfied to a reasonable doubt, and whether the men “knowingly” conducted themselves in a particular way.

The hearing continues before Magistrate Boulos.

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