Czech con artist Kohout lies about support from famous figures
Lukáš Kohout, who says he is running for mayor of the Czech town of Varnsdorf, has duped the public yet again. His website lists the names of famous figures from cultural and political life along with quotes that supposedly express their appreciation and support of him.
Among those whom Kohout falsely claims as his sympathizers are, for example, the famous actors Viktor Preiss and Emília Vašáryová, the vice-chair of the Czech and Slovak Association in Canada, and the Czech Ambassador to Turkey. News server Romea.cz has contacted the figures mentioned on his website and learned that their names have been used without their being aware of it.
"I have never heard of anyone named Lukáš Kohout in my life. I am shocked that he has abused my name, I feel harmed and I thoroughly distance myself from this," Slovak actress Emília Vašáryová said in a telephone interview with news server Romea.cz.
Vašáryová went on to say that she does not generally recognize con artists or people with xenophobic opinions and she is appalled that her name has been found in such company. Viktor Preiss, an actor with the Divadlo na Vinohradech theater company in Prague, responded in a similar vein.
"I definitely don't know anything about this and I would never even consider it. I am completely appalled by the arrogance of this gentleman, whom I have never met and whom I know only from the media in the worst of contexts. I thoroughly deny having ever supported him in any way and I feel cheated," the actor told news server Romea.cz, adding that he was considering taking legal steps.
Another person on Kohout's fake list of alleged sympathizers is the Czech Ambassador to Turkey, Václav Hubinger. "It will probably not surprise you that all of the information on the website you mention is completely and utterly false and misleading. I have never, as far as I am aware, met Lukáš Kohout in my life, never spoken with him, and naturally I have never corresponded with him. It is completely out of the realm of possibility that I would ever support him in any election," Hubinger wrote to news server Romea.cz in an e-mail, "the quote he attributes to me has been stolen from an election leaflet for Senator Grulich, who is the only politician I have ever personally supported, and has been slightly altered. Lukáš Kohout is, believe me, one of the last people I would ever support for public office in my capacity as a citizen. If you are going to take some steps against him that might eventually lead to the reversal of these outrages, then count on my support. This is sheer villainy and it should be responded to as such."
Another of Kohout's alleged supporters, the founder of Czech Schools without Borders, Lucie Slavíková Boucher, made no secret of her surprise when we reached her in Paris where she lives. "I do not know Mr Kohout, I have never spoken with him, I have never written to him, and the statement attributed to me on his website is not mine," she wrote to Romea.cz in an e-mail.
Another "sympathizer" on Kohout's fake list, Miloš Šuchma, vice-chair of the Czech and Slovak Association in Canada, has responded similarly to the website's faked quote of him saying that "Lukáš Kohout is one of the most active and most capable politicians known to me personally and to the expatriate community." Mr Šuchma wrote us the following from Canada: "I do not know Mr Lukáš Kohout in the slightest and I have never made such a false statement as the one attributed to me. I would really be interested to find out how my name got used in that context."
Yet another victim of Kohout's fake list is Ing. Jaroslav Havelka, chair of the Besedy Slovan (Slavic Discussions) committee in Geneva and vice-chair of the Union of Czech and Slovak Clubs in Switzerland. "I don't know Mr Kohout and I have never written any letter recommending he be elected or any corresponding text," he wrote.
Květa Vitvarová, the secretary of the Association of Historic Settlements of Bohemia, Moravia and Silesia, who is also vice-mayor of the municipal department of Šeberov – Hrnčíře in the city of Prague, responded with a resolute denial of any support for Lukáš Kohout: "I do not know Mr Kohout and I never wrote any such thing," she told Romea.cz.
The con artist's website falsely attributes the following fake quote to her: "Lukáš Kohout is, in my opinion, an example of a correct, honest, intelligent politician. That's why I support his candidacy for mayor and join his supporters in wishing him success in the municipal elections."
Racist texts on the website
In addition to these invented sympathizers who actually do not know Lukáš Kohout at all - or whose blood runs cold at his "reputation as a con artist" - we can also find on the recently-created www.lukaskohout.cz website several racist, xenophobic arguments in an article about the former concentration camp for Romani people at Lety u Písku supposedly authored by Kohout himself. Its formulations tell us more about Kohout's opinions than he might want to reveal.
"I am unable to understand why the dignity of ethnic gypsies is allegedly violated by the pig farm," the author writes, revealing the level of his thought before ratcheting up the racial abuse: "I personally believe that particular nation has never been oppressed by anyone, it is the Czech nation who are being maximally oppressed here by this would-be Czech fringe group. If Minister Herman or Prime Minister Sobotka want to tear down the PIG FARM, then they should move the pigs from the inadaptable localities there and the PIG FARM will soon be liquidated. With a little bit of luck it will be a sort of MASSACRE AT LETY."
There is no question that this text meets the definition of felony defamation of a nation and incitement of hatred against a group, which could aggravate Kohout's current situation. Last week a court ruled that he will have to return to prison to complete 10 months of his sentence for a previous con in which he impersonated an assistant to an MP and profligately traveled around the world with his friends at the expense of the Czech state; moreover, he now also has to pay a fine of CZK 4 00 for failing to manage the anti-Romani demonstration he convened last week in Děčín.
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