A 22-year-old Czech citizen was killed in an attack in Kibbutz Nirim while visiting his girlfriend. “I can confirm that the National Center against Terrorism, Extremism and Cybercrime has initiated criminal proceedings in this matter under the supervision of the Prague High Prosecutor’s Office. He cooperates with Israeli colleagues and conducts criminal proceedings,” said Vondrášek.
He added that in the case of crimes abroad, the Czech police is always very dependent on the help provided by the law enforcement authorities in the country in question, what evidence they have and also what their current objective capabilities are.
“I think that in Israel there is something completely different in the first place now, than dealing in detail with the evidentiary material for each specific crime, of which thousands have happened there. So it will probably take some time,” he concluded, adding that the Czech Republic and Israel have long-term very good and intensive cooperation, including, for example, regarding joint training.
Fourteen cases of anti-Semitism
In connection with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the Czech police have so far initiated criminal proceedings for manifestations of anti-Semitism in fourteen cases. According to Vondrášek, a higher level of anti-Semitism is not yet reflected in police statistics. However, the police president estimated that an increase in related crimes can certainly be expected given the current events.
According to Vondrášek, police officers monitor all gatherings that thematically touch on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Arabs accompany them to the biggest events. They help the police to assess whether the inscriptions on the brought banners are not outside the criminal law.
For example, he is currently solving the sentence “From the River to the Sea Palestine will be free”, which according to some people can be interpreted as a demand for the abolition of the state of Israel and the extermination of the Jews. The police are waiting for an analysis by the Supreme Prosecutor’s Office.
“I want us to be clear as soon as possible. We have no motivation to trivialize these expressions, but it is primarily a legal issue,” noted Vondrášek, adding that on Wednesday, the police will hold talks with the Supreme State Attorney’s Office and the Ministry of the Interior regarding anti-Semitic expressions.
According to the police chief, legal opinions on the correct procedure are still contradictory. He also recalled the principle of ultima ratio, according to which criminal law is the last resort when other protections are insufficient. He pointed to the case of a foreigner who was charged by the police with defaming the nation for hanging a poster with anti-Jewish text on a kebab snack. The public prosecutor subsequently canceled the prosecution, stating that the act was not a crime. The case is now being investigated by the supervising public prosecutor.