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Czech prosecutor can't see racist subtext in assault on MP where eyewitness heard racial abuse

26.4.2019 11:17
Domink Feri was taken to hospital after suffering these injuries in an attack on 21 April 2019. (PHOTO:  Twitter feed of Dominik Feri, collage:
Domink Feri was taken to hospital after suffering these injuries in an attack on 21 April 2019. (PHOTO: Twitter feed of Dominik Feri, collage:

According to State Prosecutor Tomáš Pindur, the case of the recent assault on Czech MP Dominik Feri was an ordinary incident caused by alcohol consumption, but a friend of Feri's alleges that one of the perpetrators said "niggers aren't human" during the incident. When asked for comment by news server, Pindur rejected the idea that the attack had a racist subtext.

Feri sustained a laceration to his back and several punches on Sunday in the village of Boršice and was taken to hospital by ambulance. "It was a wine festival that began at 9 AM and the incident is said to have happened around 5 PM, so that's what it was," Pindur said, adding that he does not see a racist subtext to the assault committed by two men.

"None. Absolutely not," the prosecutor said. 

Feri tweeted that the perpetrators racially abused him. However, he did not himself hear the remarks, learning of them later from an eyewitness.

"I basically feel bad about this for everybody - the EMTs and the police officers. It's a holiday," the politician tweeted from the ambulance.

"I come here (for the fourth time) at Easter and some tough guys ruin it, apparently they were saying something about 'niggers'," Feri tweeted. The abuse that was motivated by racism was heard by Feri's friend, Vít Neruda.

 "When I arrived there was a cluster of people," Neruda said. "No physical violence was happening, just verbal attacks."

"Something was being said about 'niggers' right then," Neruda said. Specifically, he heard the younger perpetrator say "niggers aren't human". 

"I just heard it once, " Neruda said. "The detective asked me about it immediately that day, and I also described it the next day when giving my statement."

Detectives suspect both assailants of attempted grievous bodily harm and rioting. As of 22 April nobody had been charged yet. 

If the police suspicions are confirmed, then the men face up to three years behind bars. The alleged perpetrators are said to be a father and son, the younger of whom has just been awarded his doctorate.

The incident happened Sunday evening in front of the local "House of Culture". "I went outside to smoke a cigarette, I had a glass of wine in my hand, I reached into my pocket for my cigarettes and suddenly I saw - my head was tilted down - that somebody was approaching me," Feri described the incident to the Radiožurnál station. 

"The attacker comes pretty close to me and asks, 'You're Feri?' I say, 'Yeah, I am, how can I help you?'," the lawmaker described.

"I hadn't even finish speaking and he began to beat me," Feri said. "I did my best to cover my head, I couldn't perceive at all was going on around me in that chaos."

The politician is said to have had a conflict at that same event in the past with the older assailant. "I didn't realize that until afterward," he said.

"It was two or three years ago," Feri told the radio. "I was sampling the wines, he came up to me and said something like 'We're not interested in dicks from TOP 09'."

"He pushed me, slapped the glass out of my hand, and then the people around him pulled him away," the legislator alleged.  When asked whether detectives would also be looking into the assailants' past behavior, the state prosecutor said "They may have had a dispute there before, but certainly not one that would have been grounds for suspecting a felony had been committed."

fk, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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