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November 15, 2019
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Czech prosecutor appeals after court acquits online hater of saying dark-skinned first-graders should be gassed to death

19.6.2019 8:22
The photograph that sparked a wave of online racism. The faces and names of the pupils in the first grade of the Plynárenská School in Teplice, Czech Republic have been blurred in order to protect their identities.
The photograph that sparked a wave of online racism. The faces and names of the pupils in the first grade of the Plynárenská School in Teplice, Czech Republic have been blurred in order to protect their identities.

News server iRozhlas.cz, the online service of public broadcaster Czech Radio, reports that Vítězslav Kroupa still faces the possibility of punishment for the hateful commentary he posted online beneath a photograph of first-graders from Teplice, Czech Republic. The prosecutor has appealed his acquittal, which was handed down on the grounds that the court did not believe Kroupa had been proven to be the author.

The acquittal is remarkable because Kroupa admitted to police that he wrote the comment and his attorney confirmed that information during the trial. He also faces arraignment on charges of disseminating neo-Nazi symbols.

"I can confirm that an appeal was filed by the local prosecutor with the District Court in Teplice in the case of the Plynárenská Primary School and the inappropriate commentaries posted beneath a photograph of its first grade class. The appeal was filed against the acquittal handed down by the District Court in Teplice," said prosecutor Pavel Norek of the District Prosecutor's Office in Teplice.

"It's a good thing they're from Plynárenská [Gasworks] Primary School. The solution is right there," Kroupa posted about the children, implying that they could be gassed to death.

According to the indictment, Kroupa posted the hateful commentary because of the ethnicity of some of the children in the photograph and was making a reference to the murder of Jewish people during the Second World War in the gas chambers. He faces up to three years in prison not just for the hateful post, but also for the neo-Nazi photographs police found on his Facebook wall.

"In the publicly accessible part of [Kroupa's] profile he has posted photographs of Adolf Hitler, Herman Göring and a Nazi Reich eagle holding a Nazi swastika, all of which are figures or symbols that are unequivocally adored and used as symbols of the contemporary neo-Nazi scene," Norek pointed out to the court.

The indictment also revealed that the suspect has already done prison time for violent offenses. "[Kroupa] has been punished previously for various crimes, including some of a violent nature, and although his first three convictions were originally conditionally suspended, eventually all three of those crimes were given a sentence of prison without the possibility of parole that was directly imposed on him in the case of his fourth conviction. He was conditionally released from serving those sentences in November 2014," the prosecutor described.

Norek believes Kroupa has committed the crime of making threats under the influence of addictive substances. The prosecutor told the court that "it is unequivocally proven that the accused has been and still is an adherent of neo-Nazi movements, although he does not declare himself to be one, as is customary for such felonies and the persons suspected of committing them."

Police also charged Petr Valouch of Frýdek-Místek for posting "A grenade would fit in there like a little butt on the bench" beneath the photograph. His prosecution was, however, conditionally suspended by the prosecutor because Valouch donated CZK 15 000 [EUR 600] to worthy causes as a gesture of regret.

A 26-year-old woman from Tachov was also charged with posting hateful comments about the children. She was sentenced to eight months in prison, suspended for 1.5 years, and instructed to pay a fine of CZK 20 000 [EUR 800] last September by the District Court in Tachov, a sentence that has yet to take effect.

fk, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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Policie, Racism, Sociální sítě, soud



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