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Czech Police say activist's burning of Quran was neither a crime nor a misdemeanor

3.10.2016 7:49
Approximately 150 people participated in an event on 5 July 2016 called
Approximately 150 people participated in an event on 5 July 2016 called "Czech-style Ramadan", which was held in front of a mosque in Brno, Czech Republic by the Islamophobic "Initiative of Martin Konvička". Those attending ate pork hot dogs, pork goulash, consumed alcohol, and set a copy of the Quran on fire. (PHOTO: YouTube.com)

Martin Konvička, the college instructor who used to represent the now-defunct Bloc against Islam, did not commit a criminal act when he set pages of the Quran on fire in front of a mosque in Brno this July, according to police. The situation was investigated after Brno city councilor Svatopluk Bartík filed a crime report against Konvička.

Ivo Hahn, spokesperson for the state prosecutor's office in Brno, informed the Czech Television channel ČT24 of the findings. In another matter involving the anti-Islam activist, news server iDNES.cz published information on 27 September from the police's interrogation of Konvička in which he revealed his prevoius objective of merging the Bloc against Islam and the Dawn (Úsvit) political party into a single candidate list for the October elections.

Those opposed to Islam set pages of the Quran on fire during a July assembly in front of a mosque in Brno. The gathering was convened by the Martin Konvička Initiative, no objections to it were raised by the municipality, and dozens attended.

The aim, according to organizers, was to warn against the alleged incompatibility of the "Czech community" and the "Muslim community" in the context of the ongoing wave of migration into Europe. The "happening" organized by those opposed to Islam would have been handled during a misdemeanor proceedings by the local council if police had suspected a misdemeanor.

"We also considered felony defamation of a nation, race, ethnic or other group of persons, as well as felony rioting," said Hahn. After assessing the evidence, police could not find that Konvička had committed any criminal act and closed their investigation.

Ex-minister told Konvička merging the anti-Islam movements together would yield CZK 60 million (EUR 2 million) to play with

News server iDNES.cz has published information pointing to the background of and reasons for the Bloc against Islam's attempt to merge with Úsvit, which is already seated in Parliament, so the two could run together during the October elections. Jana Volfová, Konvička's former colleague from the Bloc against Islam, has also accused him of committing a crime and police have interrogated him regarding those accusations.

Konvička told police of a plan designed by the former Czech Transportation Minister, Vít Bárta, founder of the Public Affairs party (Věci veřejné), that would have yielded the party millions from the state coffers. The activist described to police in detail the disputes about money that accompanied the attempted merging of his previous initiative with the Úsvit - Národní koalice (Dawn-National Coalition) party.

Police are currently investigating what went on inside the Bloc against Islam, which today no longer exists as a legal entity. According to Konvička, a total of CZK 60 million was to have become available to him after the merger of the two political groups.

Konvička alleges that the entire plan was created by Bárta with input from the former vice-chair of the Bloc against Islam, Volfová. "They described a genius plan to me for the total combination of my civil activity with the orphaned MPs from Okamura's Úsvit party, saying that those MPs are incompetent idiots who would do what we want and that I would get CZK 60 million in state money for my activities - they painted a bright future for the anti-Islam movement," Konvička testified to the police.

For the time being nobody has been charged in connection with the case, although Konvička's allegations about Bárta have reportedly been confirmed by several MPs. Bárta has refused to comment.

ČTK, jal, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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Blok proti Islámu, Martin Konvička, Úsvit, Volby



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