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U.S. LUGE RACER IDS 2 NEO-NAZIS IN BEATING CASE

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A U.S. luge racer in court Monday identified two young neo-Nazis accused of beating him last fall in an incident that caused outrage in the U.S.

Duncan Kennedy, fresh from a second-place finish in men's singles racing Saturday at the nearby Oberhof winter sports center where the attack occurred last Oct. 29, testified for about 45 minutes as the trial opened. It was expected to last only one day.Prosecutors charged the two neo-Nazis with causing grievous bodily harm. The defendants, Tino Voelkel, 16, and Silvio Eschrich, 21, could receive up to five years in prison if convicted.

The two young men denied starting an attack on Kennedy but admitted being in a fight with him and claimed he had started it.

The fight caused the German government to apologize to the U.S.

According to the indictment, the two led a pack of about 15 neo-Nazi skinheads in kicking and punching Kennedy, who had stood his ground so that teammate Robert Pipkins could get away. The skinheads had insulted Pipkins, who is black, by making monkey noises and gestures and calling him names.