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January 20, 2019
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Czech court releases recording of phone call in terrorism case capturing defendant's hate speech

10.1.2019 8:58
Jaromír Balda, accused of committing two terrorist attacks on trains, in court on 7 January 2019.  (PHOTO:  Czech Television)
Jaromír Balda, accused of committing two terrorist attacks on trains, in court on 7 January 2019. (PHOTO: Czech Television)

News server iDNES.cz reports that the Regional Court in Prague has decided to release a recording of a telephone call made in 2017 between Jaromír Balda, accused of perpetrating two terrorist attacks on trains, and the district coordinator of the Freedom and Direct Democracy Party (SPD) in Mladá Boleslav, submitted as part of evidence during the second day of hearings in the trial of the fanatical supporter of the populist, xenophobic "Freedom and Direct Democracy Party of Tomio Okamura." The recording documents how radical the opinions of the senior citizen were at the time that he committed his criminal acts.

The telephone call between Balda and SPD member Blanka Vaňková happened in the autumn of 2017 when the man was disseminating threatening fliers in the Mladá Boleslav area with texts meant to give the impression that they had been written by a jihadi. The SPD supporter had committed his own terrorist attacks on two different trains in the summer of 2017.

The first attack involving a train crashing into a felled tree happened at the beginning of June 2017 between Bakov nad Jizerou and Mladá Boleslav, while the second happened less than two months later between the Bělá pod Bezdězem and Bezděz stations. The first train had 10 passengers on board, the second had nine.

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Fortunately nobody was injured or killed as a result of the attacks. "We came to the conclusion that it is appropriate to release this telephone call. It reflects the defendant's state of mind at the time he committed his criminal activity," presiding Judge Jiří Wažik explained to iDNES.cz.

During the call Balda makes no secret of the fact that he is willing to "go after migrants" who in his view are "spreading through Europe like worms" - and Vaňková expresses her agreement with that sentiment. "Like one goes after pests, after rats, after vermin in the forest," the man says in the recording.

"As for those pussies that wear those Arabic cowls here, all it takes is a little tiny Molotov cocktail, throw it right beneath their feet until their cunts and their asses catch fire, they'll change their mind about walking around here like that. It's easy, all it takes is two deciliters of gasoline," the man says as the SPD member on the other end of the line expresses agreement.

Balda then spins a nonsensical theory, saying he would use "sensors" to somehow find out right away at birth whether a child wants to become a professional soldier, a thief, a crook or a mooch. "Pull it out and throw it in the sewer. Mom, you're still young, have another one and make sure it's a proper one," Balda says to the SPD member.

They both then vulgarly assess the late Czech President Václav Havel and Vaňková says she would like to blow Prague up because of how the capital voted in the elections. She was originally scheduled to testify in court on 8 January, but excused herself for medical reasons.

The judge read into the record what Vaňková had previously testified to police about Balda. "We've known each other 20 years, he's a friend, a proponent of the patriotic direction, of direct democracy. He offered to aid us with the SPD election campaign, he distributed fliers. In 2015 he attended demonstrations against refugees about 10 times. I don't think he's a racist. He was not a member of the SPD, just a sympathizer. He supported Miloš Zeman in the presidential elections," the witness described Balda, according to iDNES.cz.

The engineers who were on the trains when they collided with the trees felled by Balda also testified in court. "As I passed through the archway I saw a tree on the tracks about 100 meters ahead. I immediately put on the emergency brake and just waited to see what would happen. I thought we would derail, the tree was rather big. Two blows were heard and we remained stuck on the line," said Zdeněk Špicar, the driver of the first train.

Špicar subsequently discovered the suspicious fliers and ascertained that somebody had felled the tree intentionally. The two engineers on the train that crashed in July 2017 gave similar accounts.

All the engineers agreed that it was just random good luck that their trains did not derail. The defendant should face between five and 15 years in prison, but the prosecution is asking for no less than four.

ryz, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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Tags:  

Extremism, Racism, Svoboda a přímá demokracie (SPD), Trial



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