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A disabled U.S. Army veteran, who was convicted last week of assault in connection with a 2007 incident outside a Nuremberg nightclub, says he plans to appeal.

A German judge on Thursday sentenced former U.S. Army chef Leroy Washington, 66, to two years’ probation for slashing a Serbian man in the hand with a knife during the April 12, 2007, incident.

In a telephone interview Monday, Washington continued to assert that he acted in self-defense. Washington said he used the knife to protect himself after the Serbian man, Mergim Osmanaj, 36, yelled ‘Hey, Du Schwarzer! (Hey, black man!),’ then kicked him in the stomach and whipped him with a belt.

Washington’s lawyer, Dr. Juergen Besendorfer, claimed the police investigation of the crime was sloppy and that all the evidence pointed to a right-wing extremist attack. The judge also failed to examine Osmanaj’s previous police incidents, Besendorder said.

Police records show that Osmanaj had 14 previous police incidents, including seven assaults, and that he has served prison time for a previous attack.

Besendorfer said the case will be appealed to the higher "Landgericht" court.

Osmanaj’s lawyer could not be reached for comment.

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Seth Robson is a Tokyo-based reporter who has been with Stars and Stripes since 2003. He has been stationed in Japan, South Korea and Germany, with frequent assignments to Iraq, Afghanistan, Haiti, Australia and the Philippines.
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