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Swiss authorities drop inquiry vs. Manson

Prosecutor finds no evidence rocker incited violence
/ Source: The Associated Press

Swiss authorities have dropped a criminal inquiry of Marilyn Manson, launched after a religious group complained about his stage act.

The Zurich district prosecutor’s office said Monday it found no evidence to back allegations that the musician had incited violence and breached Swiss law protecting religion during a February 2001 concert.

The Swiss-based group Christians for Truth had lodged a complaint about the singer. The Zurich prosecutor announced a formal investigation earlier this month.

Manson played another sellout concert in Zurich on Nov. 30, part of his ongoing European tour, and prosecutors questioned him in the Swiss city.

The 34-year-old rock star rejected the accusations, and the prosecutor’s office said Manson was persuasive in arguing that his act is meant to provoke a debate about violence and religion.

Manson, whose real name is Brian Warner, also uses the sobriquet “Antichrist Superstar” and is known for his macabre lyrics. Baptized as a Satanist and an honorary priest in the Church of Satan, he has ripped a Bible during previous stage shows.

Christian groups and lawmakers in Zurich tried unsuccessfully to have Manson’s latest concert banned on grounds that his views offend a majority of the population.