Germany's Supreme Court on March 10 ruled that a neo-Nazi rock group, Landser, was a criminal organization, upholding the first such judgment in the country against a music group.

(Reuters) -- Germany's Supreme Court on March 10 ruled that a neo-Nazi rock group, Landser, was a criminal organization, upholding the first such judgment in the country against a music group.

The top court also upheld the prison sentence of three years and four months against the lead singer of the band, Michael Regener.

A Berlin court ruled in December 2003 that Regener, 39, had formed a criminal organization, incited racial hatred and spread Nazi propaganda in a case that set a legal precedent.

Prosecutions have often been brought against individuals under laws banning Nazi propaganda and promotion of racial hatred, but this was the first time a collective prosecution of this kind had been brought against a music group.

The Supreme Court ruling upheld the lower court's judgment, saying the group had acted together to produce and distribute right-wing, racist songs.

"Vietnamese were attacked in the most foul-mouthed manner," presiding judge Klaus Tolksdorf said, in reference to one of the band's songs which incited racist violence.

Two other group members had received suspended sentences of 21 and 22 months at the trial which lasted six months. They had accepted their convictions, but Regener appealed his.

Landser is an old German name that means soldier.