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Czech Supreme Court upholds three-year sentence for singer’s racist lyrics

Brno, 1.10.2010 15:13, (ROMEA)

Singer Michal Moravec will be spending three years in prison for the racist lyrics he wrote and performed with the South Bohemian band Imperium. His appeal of a lower court ruling has been rejected by the Czech Supreme Court. The verdict was issued without a public hearing. The court has not yet published the details. Petr Knötig, spokesperson for the Supreme Court, told the Czech Press Agency the court must first deliver the verdict to the parties concerned.

Moravec unsuccessfully requested that the justices overturn previous verdicts issued by the District and Regional Courts in České Budějovice. Theoretically, his only recourse now would be to file a constitutional complaint.

Moravec could have faced up to eight years in prison but was given the very lowest possible sentence. The prosecution also charged him with driving under the influence of alcohol and his license has been suspended for two years.

Moravec was arrested coincidentally during a series of police raids against the organizers of neo-Nazi concerts. The verdict concerns a previously committed offense.

Moravec’s defense attorneys said he had committed no crime, that the lyrics contained nothing exceptionable, and that they had been sung in such a way as to be almost incomprehensible. The prosecution claimed Moravec produced a CD with lyrics celebrating National Socialism entitled “Triumph of the Will”, which is also the name of a propaganda film by director Leni Riefenstahl about an NSDAP meeting in 1934 in Nuremburg.

Moravec distributed some of the band’s recordings on his own and promoted them at public productions. The CD booklet includes a text about "The Leader", whose ideas, words and actions must never be forgotten. The band also sings (in English) the lyrics “White Revolution – the only solution” and “the mighty age of the Iron Eagle.”

During the preliminary proceedings, Moravec said the band was not singing "White Revolution", but "write revolution" and claimed his English pronunciation was poor. He also claimed the “Iron Eagle” was a medieval symbol and he couldn’t help it if the Nazis had taken it up.

ČTK, Gwendolyn Albert, Czech Press Agency, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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