Czech police investigate town official's statements on Romanies
The Czech police have launched investigation of Tomas Nepras, a member of Breclav's municipal assembly, over his alleged labelling Romanies as "black scoundrels," the Internet server Aktualne.cz reported today.
Nepras, who allegedly called Romanies "ludra," the local slang word for "scoundrel," later defended himself saying he had used the word "lutra," which is the Latin name of the European otter.
The investigation has been initiated by the Police Presidium that would not comment on the case now, Aktualne.cz wrote.
Nepras has not been charged with crime for the time being.
"We'll complete the questioning. On the basis of it we could eventually launch prosecution," Milan Januvka from the Breclav police told Aktualne.cz
Nepras (Choice For the Town party) made the controversial statement at the municipal assembly session in June in reaction to the thefts of the fresh-planted green from public sites by unknown perpetrators.
Nepras later excused his words saying he did not mean "ludry" (scoundrels) but "lutry" (otters).
However, the police do not have the recordings from the session, which could prove Nepras's explanation. The recordings have allegedly been lost.
Several Czech politicians made unflattering utterances on the Romany minority in the past months (more here...).
Earlier this summer, the media published the statement by Liana Janackova (The Independents), senator and an Ostrava, North Moravia, district mayor, who allegedly said at a closed municipal meeting in August 2006 that she does not approve the idea of Romany integration in the district.
"Unfortunately, we've chosen the Bedriska colony [for settling Romanies], therefore they will be there, with a high fence, with electricity," Janackova says on the recording.
Deputy PM Jiri Cunek (Christian Democrats, KDU-CSL chairman) caused uproar among Romanies this March when, asked by a tabloid whether other citizens would get state benefits like Romanies, said that such people would first have to get "sunburnt" and make a mess and fires along with their families in the squares (more here...).
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