romea - logo
August 17, 2018
extended search

Czech Constitutional Court rejects complaint from neo-Nazi convicted of 2012 arson

9.8.2018 6:10
The residential hotel in Aš shortly after the neo-Nazi arson attack (February 2012). (PHOTO:  František Kostlán)
The residential hotel in Aš shortly after the neo-Nazi arson attack (February 2012). (PHOTO: František Kostlán)

Czech Television reported on 7 August that the Czech Constitutional Court has rejected a complaint from neo-Nazi Tomáš Kopecký, who in 2012 committed arson against a residential hotel in the town of Aš where the tenants were Romani. At the time of his attack there were 18 people, eight of whom were children, in the building.

Fortunately, none of the inhabitants suffered physical injury, as they managed to put the fire out in time. Kopecký and his accomplice, Michal Poláček, were convicted of attempted racially-motivated murder and reckless endangerment.

Both perpetrators are currently serving six years and nine months in a maximum-security prison in Kynšperk nad Ohří. In his constitutional complaint, Kopecký states that his intention was not to kill the inhabitants of the residential hotel but just to intimidate them.

The Constitutional Court has now rejected his argument. "At the time of the attack, the defendants were also reconciled to the alternative that they would cause the deaths of persons located in the directly-attacked rooms. This intention is testified to by their choice to commit the attack at night, their choice of which side of the building to target, and especially by the specific steps that they undertook to do so," the Constitutional Court quoted from the Supreme Court's 2017 finding in the matter.

According to the Supreme Court, Kopecký had to have known that people sleeping in the residential hotel might die if it were set on fire. "There is no doubt that a person sleeping in a room where a fire has been set is in immediate danger of death, and not just from the fire itself, but also from aggressive toxic fumes," the Supreme Court wrote in its decision last year.

Kopecký and Poláček, according to the courts, committed their attack as adherents of the neo-Nazi, racist, Blood & Honour Division Bohemia and its militant offshoot, Combat 18 Bohemia. They poured gasoline around the doors to the facility and threw Molotov cocktails inside it.

Jan Balík, an alleged organizer of different neo-Nazi activities, was also convicted of involvement with the incident. According to the court file, he recruited members for those groups, contributed to and set up their web pages, and sold CDs, DVDs, sweatshirts, t-shirts and other paraphernalia featuring the activities and themes of neo-Nazi groups.

The organizer was sentenced to three years and eight months in prison and did not succeed with an appeal in which he expressed, for example, reservations about the way police wiretapped his communications . Another accomplice in the case who turned to the Supreme Court without success was the man who, according to a verdict that has taken effect, set fire to a wooden shack in Prague as part of the same general effort.

That perpetrator was given a suspended sentence. The Czech courts have had to adjudicate racially-motivated arson against residences occupied by Romani people more than once.

The most famous case is from April 2009, when four neo-Nazis threw three Molotov cocktails into a single-family home in Vítkov (Opava district). The courts sentenced the extremists involved to 20 and 22 years in prison.

vhl, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
Views: 417x

Don't miss:

Related articles:


Neo-Nazism, Racism, Roma, Trial


--ilustrační foto--

Tomáš Ščuka: Romani people need competent representation first and foremost, not Romani representation at all costs

1.8.2018 10:04
I would like to discuss one of the big deficiencies in the Romani community, and that is the active participation of Romani people in political life. Thanks to the existence of online social networks, which make communications and the opportunity to share opinions so easy, we have recently been able to follow different calls to action, discussions, and similar inputs from the widest possible sample of Romani people across the Czech Republic who are frequently expressing their views of the necessity for higher participation by our community and sharing their perspectives.
 full story

--ilustrační foto--

Edita Stejskalová calls on Czech Govt to create the position of Commissioner for Romani Affairs

1.8.2018 6:48
Speaking yesterday at a demonstration in Prague, Edita Stejskalová, a civil society member of the Czech Government Council on Romani Minority Affairs, called for the Czech Government to immediately create the position of a Commissioner for Romani Affairs. "Romani people do not live in poverty and social exclusion by choice! Romani people are entitled to equal, fair treatment! Romani people do not want to live on the fringes of society! Romani people are demanding that EU institutions and their own Governments educate society to respect the rights of all citizens, and we ask the courts to thoroughly punish advocacy of political opinions based on theories of racial superiority! Romani people demand adequate protection of their lives and personalysecurity, as is guaranteed to all citizens! Romani people demand active, seriously-conceived participation from the national to the international level in decision-making processes," she called on the authorities in a speech that news server is publishing in full translation below.
 full story

--ilustrační foto--

Slovak Govt Plenipotentiary for the Romani Community: Žilina is a textbook example of hate crime

27.7.2018 8:12
The recent attack on Romani people in Žilina, Slovakia, one of whom is hospitlaized with a brain hemorrhage, is a textbook example of hate crime according to the Slovak Government Plenipotentiary for the Romani Community, Ábel Ravasz (a member of the Most-Híd party), and should be prosecuted as one. The chair of the Romani Union civic association in Slovakia (ÚRS), František Tanko, says Romani people abroad and in Slovakia are outraged by the racist crime and have announced a protest march in Žilina.
 full story


Každý diskutující musí dodržovat PRAVIDLA DISKUZE SERVERU Moderátoři serveru si vyhrazují právo bez předchozího upozornění skrýt nevhodné příspěvky z diskuse na Ty pak budou viditelné jen pro vás a vaše přátele na Facebooku. Při opakovaném porušení pravidel mohou moderátoři zablokovat zobrazování vašich příspěvků v diskusích na ostatním uživatelům.

More articles from category

romea - logo