Czech prosecutors disagree on whether assault in Duchcov was racially motivated
Six months after Romani people assaulted a non-Romani married couple in the Czech town of Duchcov, sparking anti-Romani demonstrations there, it remains unclear whether the alleged assailants will be charged with racial motivation. Experts disagree on whether the incident should be considered one of racially motivated violence.
The Supreme State Prosecutor is not ruling out a racial subtext to the assault, but prosecutors at regional level disagree. "It does not follow from the course of events that the defendants wanted to attack the victims because they are white," regional-level state attorney Jan Jakovec told news server iDNES.cz.
The State Prosecutor in Teplice, Pavel Norek, sought to have the four main suspects remanded into custody so the regional-level state attorney could take over the case, but a court in Teplice has rejected his request. Norek argued that since the attackers perpetrated grievous bodily harm, the case should be handled by regional-level prosecutors, who normally handle serious felonies.
Prosecutors at regional level, however, also do not agree that the couple's injuries actually amount to grievous bodily harm. The dispute over who is to prosecute the attack in Duchcov must now be resolved by the Supreme State Prosecutor, which has also been researching whether the crime was racially motivated; suspicion of racial motivation also means the case would automatically be assigned to regional-level prosecutors.
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