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Anarchists acquitted of preparing terrorist attack on train

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Prague, Sept 22 (CTK) – The Prague Municipal Court acquitted five anarchists charged with preparing a terrorist attack on a train, concluding that the act described in the indictment was not a crime, on Friday.

State attorney Vladimir Pazourek appealed the verdict on the spot and consequently, the High Court will deal with the case.

The court expressed doubts about the steps taken by the police that had deployed secret agents in the investigation. There were not enough pieces of evidence to refute the defence based on the police provoking the case, the court ruled.

The defendants faced from 12 to 20 years in prison or possibly an exceptional sentence, which ranges from 20 to 30 years, or even life imprisonment in the Czech Republic, if found guilty.

According to the indictment, the anarchists planned a fire-bomb attack on a freight train with military materiel. The main organiser was Petr Sova who formed a group in which Martin Ignacak and Alexandra Scambova participated.

The charges say they buried two inflammable mixtures made of petrol, polystyrene and vegetable oil into the ground near a railway bridge in Prague’s Chuchle where the attack was planned in April 2015. They also tested the mixture beforehand.

The investigators say the anarchists wanted to harm the fundamental political, economic and social structure of the country when planning the Molotov cocktail attack on a train transporting military materiel and intimidate inhabitants with the aim to threaten human lives.

Another two women were charged for not having marred the planning of the attack.

One of them, along with Sova and Ignacak, also made Molotov cocktails to protect the Cibulka squat in Prague if the police raided the building, according to the indictment.

All the defendants deny the charges.

They say the whole case was the result of a police provocation since two police agents had infiltrated the group. The agents were the main initiators since they paid for the material for Molotov cocktails, chose the place of the attack and were pushing the group into a violent act, the defendants said.

There are doubts about the police’s steps and transparency before the investigation was launched and before the agents’ involvement in the case was allowed by law, court panel chairwoman Hana Hrncirova said in the justification of the verdict.

The files do not mention what happened during a several-month period when the defendants were being shadowed. Then the agents received a permission to work on the case and the first test of Molotov cocktails took place a few days later, Hrncirova said.

Under these circumstances, the court cannot rule it has been proved that the act occurred as the indictment describes, Hrncirova explained.

The police agents testified in court as undisclosed witnesses and their testimonies were not supported by further evidence, according to the verdict.

The court does not say the case is the result of a police provocation, but the defence based on this premise has not been refuted, Hrncirova concluded.

The case is connected with a police raid on extremists in April 2014. The trial started last August.

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