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Court acquits man of throwing eggs at President Zeman

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Prague, April 25 (CTK) – A Czech court today acquitted Jindrich Fruhauf, a pensioner charged with having thrown two eggs in the direction of President Milos Zeman at a rally in 2014, after the judge said it is impossible to prove that Fruhauf really did so.

Fruhauf, 63, a resident of Kladno, central Bohemia, pleaded not guilty. He said he only blew a vuvuzela at the Prague-Albertov rally on the November 17 national holiday that many in the crowd used to protest against Zeman.

He could have received up to two years in prison for rioting. The state attorney proposed that he be fined 25,000 crowns.

The verdict has not yet taken effect.

“It has not been proved that the act of which the accused man is suspected has taken place,” the Prague 2 District Court judge, Milan Rossi, said.

That is why he did not deal at all with the question of whether the egg throwing amounted to gross indecency, which is an offence, he said.

The incident occurred during a ceremonial unveiling of a plaque commemorating the 25th anniversary of the fall of the communist regime.

Some people in the crowd carried banners reproaching Zeman for favouring Russia and excessively drinking alcohol. Items were thrown from the crowd in the direction of Zeman and other officials, and calls for Zeman’s resignation could be heard.

However, Fruhauf was the only person to be prosecuted over his behaviour at the rally.

The judge sharply criticised the police’s approach to the case. He said the police were capable of detaining only a single person and now they are trying hard to see him convicted.

Two police officers testified against Fruhauf, but the judge said their testimonies stood isolated without being supported by other circumstances at the rally.

The officers even could not agree on which hand Fruhauf used to throw eggs. Fruhauf, a right-hander, was wearing an immobiliser on his right hand at the time and was unable to move his thumb.

Fruhauf called his prosecution a hysterical procedure reminding of the atmosphere in Belarus, Russia or China.

He said he blew a vuvuzela because he was irritated by Zeman’s playing down the role of students in the November 17, 1989 events that triggered the anti-communist Velvet Revolution.

He said he was detained by plainclothes police who wanted him to identify the real egg throwers among the demonstrators, which he refused to do.

($1=24.706 crowns)

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