Court Acquits Leaders Of Neo-Nazi GroupČTK
Prague, Sept 10 (CTK) – The Prague 1 district court halted the prosecution of eight leaders of the neo-Nazi National Resistance (NO) group three months ago, after an almost ten-year trial, daily Pravo writes today.
The men were staging marches paying respects to the members of the SS who died in World War Two, where fascism was promoted and the slogan “white power” was shouted.
The raid on them was the biggest operation against the ultra-right scene conducted by the UOOZ organised crime unit in the history of the Czech Republic.
Although the prosecution was halted, the case is not finished because two weeks ago, state attorney Zdenka Galkova filed a complaint about the ruling meted out by judge Dana Sindelarova.
In her verdict, Sindelarova primarily argued with the “inordinate length” of the prosecution. She also wrote that “the basic programme of the NO and all of its followers cannot be a priori considered neo-Nazi thinking.”
She wrote that the movement was promoting the ideas of nationalism and it could not be placed in the context of a hateful ideology “just because of occasional excesses and a few scandals.”
“Milada Horakova was a member of the Czech National Social Party. Does anyone dare to label her as a neo-Nazi just because of this name?” she asked in the ruling.
Horakova was a democratic politician who was executed by the Communist regime after a show trial in 1950.
Lawyer Klara Kalibova, who deals with the topic, said Sindelarova’s ruling was a mockery of the efforts to suppress the extreme right.
Sindelarova went on to say that the fight against globalisation and multiculturalism was a frequent topic of many politically legitimate and active movements at present.
“The court is of the view that if everything with which the defendants were charged were to be punishable, many political entities would have to face a suspicion of the examined criminal activities,” she added.
Sindelarova said this although the Interior Ministry had denoted the NO as a neo-Nazi movement, while the NO had a dominant position on the ultra-right scene.
In 2008 and 2009, when the deeds with which the NO was charged were committed, it was one of the most important Nazi organisations in the Czech Republic, Pravo writes.
The prosecutor described four deeds due to which the charges were filed. One of them was the organisation of a rally in June 2009. It was stopped right at the beginning since it turned out that paying respects to SS and Wehrmacht members was its real purpose, it adds.
In addition, NO members were pasting their promotion leaflets and staged neo-Nazi concerts, whose proceeds were to be spent on the support for prosecuted or convicted neo-Nazis.
“The NO is recognised as a hateful movement as a whole, it does not make sense to deal with its individuals,” Kalibova wrote about the verdict to the paper.