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Roger Waters releases statement as police investigate concert costume

Images on social media showed Waters firing an imitation machine gun while dressed in a long, black coat with a red armband.

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Roger Waters performs at Barclays Arena in Hamburg, Germany, on Sunday May 7

Pink Floyd co-founder Roger Waters has spoken out after police in Berlin opened an investigation into a costume he wore when he performed in the German capital.

Images on social media showed Waters firing an imitation machine gun while dressed in a long, black coat with a red armband.

Police confirmed a probe was under way over suspicions the context of the outfit could constitute a glorification, justification or approval of Nazi rule and therefore a disturbance of the public peace.

Once the investigation is over, the case will be handed to Berlin prosecutors, who will decide whether to pursue charges.

Roger Waters performs at Barclays Arena in Hamburg, Germany, on Sunday May 7 2023
Roger Waters performs at Barclays Arena in Hamburg, Germany, on Sunday May 7 2023 (Daniel Bockwoldt/dpa/AP)

Waters rejected the accusations in a statement early on Saturday, saying “the elements of my performance that have been questioned are quite clearly a statement in opposition to fascism, injustice, and bigotry in all its forms”.

He said "attempts to portray those elements as something else are disingenuous and politically motivated”.

Waters has drawn ire for his support of the BDS movement, which calls for boycotts and sanctions against Israel.

He has rejected accusations of antisemitism.

Authorities in Frankfurt tried to prevent a concert there scheduled for May 28 but Waters challenged that move successfully in a local court.

In Munich, the city council said it explored possibilities of banning a concert but concluded it was not legally possible to cancel a contract with the organiser.

His appearance there on Sunday was accompanied by a protest attended by the local Jewish community’s leader.

Last year, the Polish city of Krakow cancelled gigs by Waters because of his sympathetic stance towards Russia in its war against Ukraine.

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