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November 18, 2018
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Czech con artist who organized anti-Romani protest to serve 10 months in prison

Česká Lípa, 18.8.2014 18:17, (ROMEA)
About 200 people gathered on 13 August 2014 in Děčín at an anti-Romani demonstration organized by Lukáš Kohout, a con artist who has been convicted more than once of fraud. (PHOTO:   Jiří Šlemar)
About 200 people gathered on 13 August 2014 in Děčín at an anti-Romani demonstration organized by Lukáš Kohout, a con artist who has been convicted more than once of fraud. (PHOTO: Jiří Šlemar)

The notorious con artist Lukáš Kohout must serve the remaining 10 months of the 28-month prison sentence he received after he was convicted of having impersonated an assistant to then-Czech Foreign Minister Jan Kavan, also the chair of the UN General Assembly, and flying to exotic countries during 2002 with state money. The decision of the District Court in Česká Lípa has taken effect.    

Judge Milan Vencl informed the Czech News Agency of the news today. He said Kohout no longer meets the terms established for his conditional release from the Stráže pod Ralskem Prison in 2010.

"According to those terms he was to lead a law-abiding life and adhere to the supervision of the probation service. He has not," Vencl said.

The District Court in Česká Lípa, where Kohout's request for conditional release ended up because he was serving his time in Stráže pod Ralskem Prison, has handled his case repeatedly. A first decision in October 2011 to overturn his probation was itself overturned for procedural reasons by the Regional Court.  

Judge Vencl ruled on Kohout completing his sentence last September. The case subsequently made the rounds of various appeals courts.

"Kohout constantly filed for remedy with higher-instance courts, including filing objections of bias against the courts in North Bohemia," Vencl said. The confirmation of last year's decision to return him to prison has only now been delivered to the court in Česká Lípa.  

"The decision has taken effect and is enforceable," the judge said. Kohout's return to prison had to be decided by the District Court for Prague 1, which originally convicted him of defrauding the state of plane tickets worth CZK 1.6 million and sentenced him to 28 months in prison.  

The case should now travel to Prague from the court in Česká Lípa as soon as possible. Because the original sentence exceeded two years in length, the case does not fall under the amnesty announced by former Czech President Václav Klaus on 1 January 2013.

However, the amnesty did overturn another sentence of Kohout's for driving even though he had been banned from doing so by the courts in 2009. Originally he was to have performed 250 hours of community service work as punishment.

Kohout never performed the community service, for which he faced 125 days in prison, but instead he was fined CZK 25 000. However, thanks to the amnesty, he will ultimately not have to pay that fine.

The convicted con artist is also notorious as an organizer of anti-Romani demonstrations in North Bohemia. Three years ago he initiated the protests in the Šluknov foothills and last week he organized one in Děčín. 

ČTK, Zdeněk Ryšavý, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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Kriminalita, podněcování, Racism, Soud



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