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Martinů on Czech Television: Radicals trained by a member of the armed forces

Prague, 26.10.2009 12:55, (ROMEA)

The neo-Nazis arrested last Wednesday on suspicion of preparing a terrorist attack in the Czech Republic were being trained by a member of the Czech armed forces. Czech Police President Oldřich Martinů made the announcement on Czech Television yesterday, adding that the man involved was not a member of the police.

Military training of the radicals was also mentioned on Friday by Robert Šlachta, head of the police Organized Crime Detection Unit (ÚOOZ), when he evaluated film footage of the training released by police. In the footage masked men taught the neo-Nazis how to disable an opponent armed with a knife or gun.

Yesterday Martinů said the training had been led by a man whom the extremists hired. "This did not involve anyone from the police - this was a professional from another armed unit, and that is what is alarming,” he said. However, he refused to say whether the person was from the Czech Army. Media have reported previously on several cases of soldiers participating in neo-Nazi marches during their free time.

After last Wednesday’s house searches of right-wing radicals, detectives charged 18 people with supporting and promoting movements aimed at suppressing human rights and freedoms. Police originally arrested 24 people. Šlachta said on Friday that according to his information, the case marks the first time that police officers have suspected members of the extreme right of preparing a terrorist attack. Strategic buildings such as power plants or or businesses were probably among their possible targets, detectives say, but no charges have been filed regarding these suspicions. Šlachta did not rule out that charges might be pressed in future depending on the results of further investigation.

Yesterday Martinů also cast doubt on the legitimacy of the complaint which the Workers’ Youth civic association (Dělnická mládež - DM) is said to ready to file today with the Police Presidium. DM intends to complain that during the house searches, ÚOOZ members confiscated the DM membership card index and promotional materials for the Workers’ Party to which DM is connected. However, according to Martinů, ÚOOZ members proceeded strictly according to the law.

The membership card index and promotional materials are said to have been confiscated by police during the house search of the association’s vice-chair Matyáš Sombati. The Antifa.cz web server reported last week that Matyáš Sombati, alias Matttwoo, was one of the most active contributors to the web pages of the neo-Nazi organization WhiteJustice. However, their evaluation of the group is different from that of the police; Antifa calls WhiteJustice a “tragicomic attempt at a would-be elite neo-Nazi terrorist organization.”

Workers’ Party chair Tomáš Vandas said last Wednesday that the police action was a desperate attempt by the government of find evidence of illegal behavior by members or sympathizers of the party. The Supreme Administrative Court will decide soon on a government proposal to dissolve the party. Nevertheless, on Friday Šlachta clearly rejected any connection between the raid and government’s motion to abolish the party.

ČTK, Gwendolyn Albert, ROMEA, ROMEA, ČTK, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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