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April 2, 2020
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Czech Prosecutor General appeals to continue case against eight members of the neo-Nazi "National Resistance"

29.1.2020 6:32
The banner in this photo from 2012 reads
The banner in this photo from 2012 reads "National Resistance - Free - Social - National".

The daily Právo reports that Czech Prosecutor General Pavel Zeman has moved to continue the case of eight representatives of the "National Resistance" movement (Národní odpor - NO) charged with promoting neo-Nazism. A court halted the prosecution last year, in part because it had been underway too long - 10 years.

Zeman is proposing the Supreme Court overturn that decision and return the case to where it began, the District Court for Prague 1. The defendants, who were the heads of the NO in Brno, České Budějovice, Prague and other cities, were arrested in October 2009 by the Organized Crime Detection Unit on suspicion of promoting Nazism.

Among those arrested, for example, were Michaela Dupová of NO's women's cell, which used the English-language name "Resistance Women Unity", and Patrik Vondrák, the former chair of the neo-Nazi Workers' Party (Dělnická strana - DS) organization in Prague, a party that was eventually dissolved by the courts. Those arrested were charged with organizing marches in honor of deceased members of the Nazi SS, with posting NO promotional materials in the center of Prague, and with organizing neo-Nazi concerts where Hitler's ideology was promoted.

The eight defendants, according to prosecutor Zdeňka Galková, constituted an organized criminal group. In October 2012 Judge Dana Šindelářová acquitted all the suspects.

The first-instance verdict was overturned on appeal, but Šindelářová again decided last June in favor of the defendants. "In last year's verdict, which has been made available to the editors, District Judge Šindelářová argued above all that 'the basic program of the National Resistance and all its supporters cannot a priori be considered neo-Nazi' (and also included arguments about the 'excessive length of the prosecution')", writes news server Novinky.cz.

According to that verdict, the NO had rather been promoting the idea of ​​nationalism and national socialism, which the judge argued cannot be put into the context of a hateful ideology on the basis of what she called "occasional excesses" and a few "extempore" actions. "Milada Horáková was a member of the Czech National Social Party, but would anybody dare, based on the name of that party, to call her a (neo)Nazi?" the judge wrote, comparing the defendants to a Czechoslovak politician who survived the Nazi concentration camps only to be executed in 1950 after a Communist show trial.

The judge made those arguments despite the fact that the Interior Ministry and the Security Information Services (BIS) consider the NO movement a neo-Nazi one. When it was operational, the NO was the strongest initiative on the ultra-right in the Czech Republic.

fk, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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Tags:  

Národní Odpor, Neo-Nazism, Trial, ultra-right



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