Czech court fines seven racists for approving of the murder of a Romani man, but one is appealing - for the publicity
News server Lidovky.cz reports that the District Court in Chomutov, Czech Republic has fined the bodybuilder Filip Grznár CZK 15 000 [EUR 600] for publicly approved of the shooting to death of a young Romani man in Chomutov and threatening other Romani people with murder. The court did not hold a hearing in the matter.
The bodybuilder has refused to pay and has appealed, so the court will now hold a standard public hearing in his case. Another six racists have been given similar punishments for similar crimes related to the incident.
Grznár made a video in response to the tragedy, which happened on 27 May 2017 at 3 AM on a housing estate in Chomutov. The young Romani man was shot at 13 times with a pistol as he was driving a van.
The gunman, Petr Benda, was first sentenced to 12.5 years, but that sentence was later reduced to just seven years. The High State Prosecutor has sent the Supreme State Prosecutor a request for that verdict to be appealed before the Czech Supreme Court.
Benda began serving his prison term on 1 October. In the video released after news of the Romani man's death became known, the bodybuilder said: "[The shooter] did a good deed."
"The problem is that the fucking Czech justice system will send him behind bars, it's horrible," Grznár goes on to say in the video. "The gypsies want to cause unrest and are threatening his family."
"If they do that, then I will go to Chomutov for those gypsies and murder them," his video message said. Detectives charged him with violence against a group and approving of a crime.
"To punish me for something that decidedly cannot seem like a crime to anybody is just ridiculous," the bodybuilder told Lidovky.cz, adding that he wants to clear his name in open court and also get some publicity. "It works for me from the perspective of how many people follow me online," the bodybuilder told the news server.
Other racists fined, put on probation
In addition to Grznár, other people who expressed racist sentiments against Romani people in comments posted beneath his video were also convicted. "During the course of the investigation, other similar posts, expressed in writing, were also found on the Internet," Chomutov's Deputy State Prosecutor Zdeněk Krupička confirmed to Lidovky.cz.
Police charged six other people who also approved of the Romani man's murder and expressed themselves in racist terms. The court then sentenced them for approving of a crime and inciting hatred against a group, also without holding hearings.
"There were three conditional prison sentences handed down ranging from three to six months and suspended for a probationary period of one year, and there were three fines of CZK 10 000 [EUR 400]," the vice-chair of the District Court in Chomutov, Lenka Chalupová, told Lidovky.cz. Unlike Grznár, the other six perpetrators, who come from all over the Czech Republic, have accepted their sentences and are not appealing.
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