Czech court sentences man who praised deadly terrorist attack on New Zealand mosques to six years in prison, the longest such sentence yet
News server iDNES.cz has reported that on Tuesday, 16 March the Brno Regional Court in the Czech Republic sentenced a man who praised the 2019 terrorist attack in New Zealand during an online discussion to six years in prison for promoting terrorism. The verdict has yet to take effect and the defendant plans to appeal to the High Court in Olomouc, according to iDNES.cz.
The Czech courts have been dealing with many such cases involving people expressing approval online for the attack on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, but before this verdict the defendants had all been given suspended sentences. In March 2019 a right-wing extremist from Australia shot dead more than 50 children, men and women during the attacks.
The terrorist broadcast his rampage live online. "That's giving them a taste of their own medicine. Good job???!" posted Benedikt Čermák online beneath a video recording of the rampage; he has now been sentenced to the six-year prison term.
Čermák defended himself by claiming he had not been approving of the crime, but calling on others to reflect on it. "I disagree with what was done. This was my comment on the fact that the shoe was now on the other foot and suddenly there is a different [non-Muslim] psychopath shooting the Muslims dead," iDNES.cz quoted Čermák as saying.
The judge disagreed with Čermák's claims. "The defendant was not expressing a sense of pity over what happened, just a sense of self-pity. From the wording of his comment it is possible to deduce that he was not criticizing what happened, but praising it," the judge said when explaining the verdict, according to iDNES.cz.
In February the Plzeň Regional Court sentenced defendant Michal Trykar for a similar comment online about that same attack to 30 months in prison, suspended for three years. Another such defendant, Ondřej Pudil of Žďár nad Sázavou, posted comments online praising the calibre of weapon used by the shooter and expressing regret for the fact that the attacker had apparently not purchased more ammunition.
For that remark, Pudil was given a three-year suspended sentence last year. Another three-year suspended sentence was earned by 50-year-old Václav Klestil for his praise of the attack in New Zealand.
"Finally, somebody had the balls to show how the Mohammedans have to be treated. Good job," Klestil posted to Facebook.
Renata Pelikánová was also convicted by the Municipal Court in Prague and given a two-year suspended sentence for remarks she posted to Facebook. "This is a badass, more of us should be like him when the governments do nothing with those Muslim swine and keep retreating instead," she posted, adding that she thanked the terrorist for his "bravery".
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