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Czech Republic: Trial of brutal interethnic assault in Duchcov to start

Ustí nad Labem, 25.1.2014 15:48, (ROMEA)
The assault in Duchcov in the summer of 2013 was captured by a municipal police security camera.
The assault in Duchcov in the summer of 2013 was captured by a municipal police security camera.

In February the Regional Court in Ústí nad Labem will begin reviewing a brutal assault perpetrated last year in the town of Duchcov (Teplice district). Judge Markéta Morkusová informed the Czech News Agency of the planned trial yesterday.    

The prosecutor has charged five members of the Romani community with attacking a non-Romani married couple. "The main hearing is scheduled for 18 - 21 February," Morkusová said.

The Czech News Agency has received a copy of the indictment and reported that the most brutal of the assailants is alleged to be the youngest one involved, a 16-year-old boy. The case took place in the late night and early morning hours of 17-18 May 2013.

The attack was preceded by a brawl in a Duchcov restaurant during which the youngest defendant and another youth tried to steal a bicycle. The indictment charges the youngest individual with trying to ride off on the bike without noticing it had been chained up and then falling off of it.

When the owner of the bike attempted to pick it up, the youths attacked him. "Both defendants physically assaulted him with a forceful punch to the face which knocked him to the ground, where they kicked him in various parts of his body, primarily his head, with such force that they fractured his left elbow as he was covering his face with his arm, fractured his nose, knocked out one of his front teeth, and caused hematomas to his face and contusions to his head, limbs and torso," the state attorney's indictment reads.

Two hours later, according to the indictment, the juvenile assailant then provoked a conflict on the town square with a married couple. The youth attacked the man of the couple with a tree branch that was almost two meters long. 

Three other assailants ran to assist him and brutally attacked the wife of the beaten man as well. Two women pushed her to the ground, repeatedly bashed her head into the ground, punched her face, and when an older man tried to intervene, one of the women kicked the victim in the face once more.

The woman was hospitalized with contusions and is still receiving treatment for the repercussions of her injuries. "The victim has developed post-traumatic stress disorder with symptoms of agoraphobia and panic disorder," the indictment reads. 

The prosecutor is charging some defendants with grievous bodily harm, some with attempted grievous bodily harm, some with rioting, and the youngest defendant with threatening harm. He allegedly made the threats as the couple were being put into an ambulance for transport to the hospital. 

The youth faces up to six years in prison. The police investigation did not prove the attack was racially motivated.

The assault sparked anti-Romani unrest in Duchcov. Right-wing extremists held several demonstrations in the town in its aftermath. 

ČTK, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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