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Czech senator considers her words on Romanies political statement

Prague, 16.3.2008 18:11, (ROMEA/CTK)

Czech Senator Liana Janackova (for Independents) has compared her controversial words on some Romanies in Ostrava, north Moravia, over which she faces prosecution, to a political proclamation, she told Prima TV today.

She added she had not yet decided whether she would ask her colleagues to strip her of immunity.

SPECIAL: All about racist causa Liana Janackova

The police recently asked the Senate to do so over her utterances from 2006.

"If a person exactly in the situation in which I appeared makes a political proclamation, the immunity might take this into account somehow," Janackova said in the Sunday Match TV debate programme.

Janackova, who is Mayor of Ostrava district Marianske Hory and Hulvaky, pronounced the controversial words at meeting of the housing department of her district authority in 2006.

On a recording from the event, she was heard speaking about excessively multiplying Romanies and about "dynamite" to blow them up with, in connection with solving problems in a Romany settlement.

"Unfortunately, I'm a racist, I disagree with the integration of gypsies and their living across the district. Unfortunately, we've chosen Bedriska [locality], therefore they will be there, behind a tall fence with electricity," Janackova was heard saying from the recording.

Janackova apologised for her statements last year, saying they were unfortunate and silly. She said she had made them in a tense atmosphere.

She reiterated her apology today.

However, Janackova dismissed that her statements were aimed against the Romany ethnic community. She also said her words were cited out of the context.

Nine organisations, including Romany ones, and seven individuals have lodged a criminal complaint against Janackova over her utterances.

Janackova pointed out that the complaint was not filed by Romany organisations from Ostrava who knew her work, but by activists' groups from other parts of the country.

Janackova stressed she was convinced that all citizens should behave in compliance with law, no matter if they were Romanies or not.

The police want to accuse Janackova of the defamation of nation, ethnic group, race and religion.

The Senate immunity committee will debate the application for stripping Janackova of immunity on Tuesday.

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