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June 20, 2019
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Czech Republic: Two neo-Nazis charged in 2012 arson

Plzeň, 6.8.2014 16:42, (ROMEA)
A march by racists passed through part of the Czech town of Plzeň on 28 October 2013, a state holiday commemorating the anniversary of the founding of independent Czechoslovakia. (PHOTO:   Lukáš Houdek)
A march by racists passed through part of the Czech town of Plzeň on 28 October 2013, a state holiday commemorating the anniversary of the founding of independent Czechoslovakia. (PHOTO: Lukáš Houdek)

The Czech state prosecutor has charged two men who are promoters of neo-Nazi groups with committing an arson attack on a Romani-occupied residential hotel in the town of Aš in 2012. The daily Právo reported yesterday that the men face between 15 and 20 years in prison or even the possibility of extraordinary punishment if convicted of racially motivated attempted murder.  

Právo reports that two members of the neo-Nazi organizations Blood & Honour Division Bohemia and Combat 18, 34-year-old Michal Poláček and 24-year-old Tomáš Kopecký, have been charged in the case. The daily quotes the Plzeň Regional Prosecutor Jakub Kubias as saying another seven members of neo-Nazi organizations, including one woman, are also awaiting trial.    

The two men are charged with throwing Molotov cocktails at the residential hotel in Aš on 26 February 2012. Fortunately no one was injured by the attack.

"The defendants face between 15 and 20 years in prison or even extraordinary punishment," Kubias confirmed to Právo. He also said another seven members of Blood & Honour Division Bohemia and Combat 18 Sudetenland will be tried for supporting and promoting a movement to suppress human rights and freedoms.  

Právo reports that Kopecký and Poláček are alleged to have carefully thought through their choice of a building for their arson attack. The state prosecutor is also charging them with having poured gasoline around the entrance to the building to make sure the victims would not be able to leave once it caught fire.  

At 2 AM the men are alleged to have thrown two Molotov cocktails through the windows of a room where 10 adults and eight children were sleeping. Fortunately the occupants managed to put out the fire because the interior window pane of the double-glazed windows held the bottles in place.

News server Romea.cz reported on the case of the arson attack in the residential hotel in Aš at the start of March 2012 and followed that report with an interview with Emil Voráč of the local Khamoro association. Romea.cz also reported that one month after the attack, police officers from the Organized Crime Detection Unit (Útvar pro odhalování organizovaného zločinu - ÚOOZ) initiated a raid against neo-Nazis in many different places around the Czech Republic; ÚOOZ spokesperson Pavel Hanták confirmed at the time that detectives had discovered clues related to the attack on the residential hotel in Aš. 

voj, Právo, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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arson attack, , Racism, Roma



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