Sunday, October 18, 2009


Attempted pogrom against the Roma in Havířov goes to trial this coming Monday
Ostrava/Havířov, 17.10.2009, 14:02, (ROMEA)

This coming Monday, the trial of several neo-Nazis for racially motivated attempted murder in Havířov will begin in Ostrava. One of their victims has suffered permanent injury as a result of the attack.

On the night of 8 November 2008, a rather large group of young neo-Nazis met, agreed to physically attack any Roma they might come across, and set off into the streets of Havířov for that purpose. On Jarošová street in the Šumbark quarter, the young men, masked by hoods and balaclavas, jumped out of their car to attack two Romani minors, J.H. and P.S. After a brief chase they threw J.H. to the ground, beating him and brutally kicking him, especially in the head and legs. P.S. succeeded in escaping.

The attackers then moved to the quarter of Prostřední Suchá, where they noticed a young Romani man walking by. They chased him but were unable to catch up to him. They then attempted to attack another Romani man elsewhere in the same quarter, but he managed to take cover at the reception desk of a hostel. Ukrainian workers residing there prevented his being attacked.

According to the expert evaluation provided by the examining physicians, the attackers caused J.H. grave, life-threatening injuries. It was only due to the rapid provision of medical assistance that the victim did not die. His interior cranial injuries were caused not only by the kicking, but by the assailants’ use of a metal spanner called a “gola”, as well as a 65-cm long collapsible black-jack, both of which were confiscated by police. The victim has suffered permanent injuries as a result of which he must now halt his studies and will evidently never be able to work again.

The police have succeeded in identifying eight attackers, one of whom is a civil servant. They have been accused of the crimes of racially motivated grievous bodily harm and rioting. Prior to this attempted pogrom, all of the accused were already known to the police as either aggressive football hooligans or neo-Nazis.

The criminal proceedings involved sizeable delays due to the fact that homicide detectives at the regional headquarters in Ostrava did not immediately take over the case from the district-level detectives, even though it was clear from the start that this was a serious felony. The attack was conducted in such a way that the assailants had to have been aware that their exceptionally brutal treatment might result in the murder of their victim. However, despite the nature of the offense, the accused are not in custody. In the end the case was transferred to the Regional Court after the High Court in Olomouc came to the conclusion that the perpetrators’ behavior may be considered attempted murder.

The court proceedings will begin on 19 October 2009 at 8:30 AM at the Regional Court (Krajský soud) in Ostrava at Havlíčkovo nábřeží 1835/34, door number 10 on the ground floor of Building A. The victim is being represented by Mgr. Roman Krakovka of the Miketa and Partners law firm, whose work is being funded by ROMEA, o.s.

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