Czech Police find 65 cases of criminal approval of Russian aggression against Ukraine, charges filed in 30 cases so far
Since the beginning of Russia's aggression against Ukraine, the Czech Police have investigated 65 cases of people approving of the war, which is a criminal offense. According to news server iDNES.cz, dozens of reports of this crime have been made to police every day.
Many of the incidents are being shelved without being prosecuted. The investigation of bodybuilding celebrity Filip Grznár, who posted videos to social media in March approving of Russia's aggression against Ukraine, is one of those that has been suspended.
"We have 65 such cases that we consider to be felony approval of Russia's aggression," police spokesperson Ondřej Moravčík told iDNES.cz. "Charges have been filed in 30 of them."
"They are strictly cases of approval, or theoretically cases of denial [of genocide], and generally they are expressions of some kind of hatred related to Russia's war," Moravčík said. "We are shelving many cases because they do not rise to the level of posing a danger to society."
Prosecutor: Grznár did not support the war, he just wanted publicity
At the beginning of June, the prosecution of the wrestler Filip Grznár for incitement to commit a crime was halted; he had posted videos to social media in March approving of Russia's aggression against Ukraine. In the recordings, Grznár even said he was looking forward to war coming to the Czech Republic because it would mean anybody would be able to kill whomever they wanted.
"I want there to be a war in the Czech Republic," he says in the video posted to Instagram. "I want it, let Russia come for us already," the bodybuilder says in the recording, adding that it is all the same to him what might happen to him, or his family, or anybody else.
According to the Deputy District Prosecutor in Plzeň, Ivana Hostašová, he did not support the war by making those remarks. "He did not directly support the war on Ukraine," she explained to news server Novinky.cz.
"He exploited it for publicity and so he could bring his own violent ideas to bear," Hostašová said. She also informed the media that the supervising prosecutor returned the case to police along with the opinion that, given the indiscriminate nature of the remarks in the recording, the behavior could rise to the level of felony disorderly conduct.
Miroslav Mareš, who is an expert on extremism at Masaryk University, said the state does have to enforce the laws and norms adopted by the legislature. "If certain behavior is established as criminal and the High Public Prosecutor has published an opinion about the interpretation of those norms when it comes to the approval of aggression and similar crimes, then it is up to the criminal justice authorities to decide whether the law has been broken," he explained to iDNES.cz.
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