In future, Czech quarterly reports on extremism may mention only settled cases, not ones in progress
The quarterly summary information released by the Czech Government in its reports on extremism in the Czech Republic could be done differently in the future and may just mention cases the courts have definitively ruled on or cases for which the police investigations have been completed. Czech Interior Minister Jan Hamáček (Czech Social Democratic Party - ČSSD) raised the possibility on 24 October in the lower house while responding to the fact that the report on extremism for the second quarter of this year included the case of Czech MP Karla Maříková ("Freedom and Direct Democracy" - SPD), which is still being investigated.
"I am prepared to debate whether such documents should just list those cases where a verdict has already taken effect or where the investigation has been closed. I think that should be the case. Certainly I will issue the relevant instructions in that direction," the minister said.
Maříková is being investigated on suspicion of inciting hatred against a group because of remarks she has made. In January of this year she compared Muslim immigrants to an invasive species of animal or plant, such as those the EU forbids to be imported.
"Muslim immigrants are not indigenous inhabitants of Europe and, just like other invasive species, their presence means their unanticipated dissemination and the gradual displacement of the indigenous population of Europe. For that reason, they should also be banned from entering European Union territory," the MP said.
Czech MP Zdeněk Ondráček (Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia - KSČM) pointed out that by law, preliminary criminal proceedings are not public. He claimed to be "amazed" that Maříková's case had been included the quarterly report when the investigation is still underway.
The Czech Interior Minister said police had provided background information and materials about the case to the ministry through the usual channels. He rejected the insinuation that including the information in the report meant it had been leaked from the investigation file somehow.
"Under no circumstances does the Interior Ministry enjoy access to police investigation files. In this situational summary report about displays of extremism and bias hatred during the second quarter of 2019, the MP was mentioned in association with the remark she made, which was already known to the public because it has been broadly reported. The basic information that criminal proceedings have been opened on suspicion of the commission of felony incitement to hatred of a group or incitement to limiting a group's rights and freedoms was then received by the ministry from the police as part of our accumulation of background materials for the situational report," Hamáček said.
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