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Trial of Czech far-right extremists over racism charges starts

A Brno district court wants to question 17 Czech proponents of extremist ideas on charges of spread of Nazism and racism in the next three days of their trial that started Tuesday, court panel chairwoman Lenka Nekudova has said.

The 90-page indictment was read for four hours. The trial is expected to continue until May, Nekudova said, adding that it could not be estimated when the verdict would be delivered.

If convicted, the defendants can be sentenced up to eight years in prison.

The trial is taking place in the judiciary palace in which the Brno Regional Court is located and the courtroom is the biggest in Brno.

The defendants are mainly musicians who performed at 14 concerts in various places in the Czech Republic in 2008-2009.

According to the indictment, they promoted Nazism and racism.

The concerts were usually attended by some 300 extremists. The Nazi salute "Sieg heil!" was shouted and Nazi Fuehrer Adolf Hitler and the U.S. Ku-Klux-Klan were cheered.

The defendants include Dragan Petrovic from the Serbian branch of the Blood & Honour neo-Nazi organisation.

Charges were also brought against the sellers of Nazi paraphernalia at the concerts from inside and outside the Czech Republic.

State attorney Milan Richter mentioned the lyrics sung by some bands that glorified Hitler and his birthday.

Other songs described how extremists would "annihilate" dark-skinned people, which largely means Romanies in the Czech environment.

Another song glorified Ian Stuart Donaldson, the founder of Blood & Honour.

The songs are full of hatred for Jews, dark-skinned people, Communists and leftists, highlighting the NSDAP Nazi party and the execution of almost 500 people in Bratislava in 1945, the indictment said.

They also speak about Zionist foes who must be crushed and about the need to hang South Africa's leader Nelson Mandela.

The defendants' questioning is scheduled for this afternoon.

Credit: Prague Daily Monitor

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