Monday, 19 August 2019

MfD: Extremist who killed Roma to run in regional polls

ČTK |
18 February 2016

Prague, Feb 17 (CTK) - Vlastimil Pechanec, who was convicted of a racially motivated murder of a Roma 12 years ago and spent two-thirds of his 17-year sentence in prison, will run in the autumn regional election for the extremist Workers' Party of Social Justice (DSSS), Mlada fronta Dnes (MfD) wrote on Wednesday.

"I enjoy a very strong favour of the public, quite many people might vote for me. More than 90 percent have expressed support for me," Pechanec, who will be running in the Pardubice Region, east Bohemia, told MfD.

He said he would like to benefit his region.

"I would prefer a post related to sport to help push for more playing fields for children and jobs for people," Pechanec said, adding that unemployment is a serious problem in the southeastern part of the Pardubice region,.

The paper writes that Pechanec has at least one of the preconditions for a politician - he does not fear to face a crowd and rivals since he performs as a drummer of the League basketball team of Svitavy, east Bohemia. Moreover, he has experience with prison.

DSSS regional branch head David Slavik defends Pechanec's nomination. He was convicted of something he had not done, only because he had politically incorrect opinions, Slavik added.

Pechanec, who was a follower of the skinhead movement, stabbed to death a 30-year-old Roma, Ota Absolon, at a disco in Svitavy, after a verbal conflict on July 21, 2001.

Pechanec was 22 at the time. Absolon had two small children and a seriously ill common-law wife who died a year later, MfD writes.

In 2003, Pechanec was sentenced to 17 years in jail for the first racially motivated murder in east Bohemia. Before, he was twice convicted of breach of the peace and serious bodily harm.

Pechanec, who pleads not-guilty, was released on parole with a six-year probationary period in 2014. Last year, a court met his defence counsel's demand that the traces on the knife, which was considered the murdering weapon, be re-examined. However, last December, a regional court rejected his request for reopening the trial.

Further court proceedings depend on an expert opinion for which his defence lacks money, MfD writes.

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