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Far-right leader facing genocide denial charges

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Prague, Feb 9 (CTK) – A state attorney has brought criminal charges against the far-right extra-parliamentary National Democracy (ND) leader, Adam B. Bartos, for denial and approval of genocide, incitement to hatred and defamation of the nation, Dana Sindelarova, the Prague 1 court spokeswoman, told CTK today.

If convicted, Bartos can be sentenced up to three years in prison, Sindelarova said, confirming the news broken by Czech Television (CT).

The police say in his books and speeches, Bartos deliberately incited to hatred for Jews and acted similarly towards immigrants.

Bartos was accused last April.

He wrote on the ND’s website that the police had seized documents from him and searched his home and his party’s seat.

He called the police intervention “a political case” with the aim to intimidate the ND and its followers.

“I promised to the police that I will never commit any further crimes. I did not yield because I have not committed any,” Bartos told an ND rally last May.

He said he did not regret his acts, would not take back anything and would not yield to any pressure.

Last October, Bartos was given a one-year suspended sentence for placing an anti-Semitic text at the grave of Anezka Hruzova, murdered in Polna, south Moravia, in 1899. The verdict has not taken effect yet.

Local Jew Leopold Hilsner was falsely found guilty of the murder of Hruzova, a 19-year-year Czech Christian woman, and sentenced to death, which was later commuted to life sentence. He was only pardoned in 1918.

The cause triggered a wave of anti-Semitism in the Czech Lands. It was challenged by Tomas Garrigue Masaryk, who later became the first Czechoslovak president (1918-35).

Bartos and ND former deputy chairman Ladislav Zemanek displayed a sign with a photograph of the murdered woman and a text reading: “The Jewish question has not been resolved in a satisfactory manner yet.”

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